The Electricity Grid - Irish Interconnectors

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The Electricity Grid - Irish Interconnectors

Post  MH on Tue 9 Dec 2008 - 7:33

A couple of months ago, there was a story on the BBC Website about an interconnector between Wales and Ireland

Welsh-Irish electricity link plan

Construction work will start next year on a 250km (155 mile) electricity cable linking north Wales and the Irish Republic if it wins planning approval. High voltage electricity cables would be laid under the Irish Sea from Prestatyn to the north of Dublin under the East West Interconnector scheme. It will carry 500 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power about 300,000 homes.

It is being developed by EirGrid, an independent electricity transmission system operator in the Irish Republic. If planning permission is granted, construction work will begin in 2009 and the interconnector will be operational from 2012.

BBC, 8 October 2008
I wrote this on the WalesOnline forum:

MH, 9 October 2008 wrote:
I've been following this for some time. In principle any interconnector will be of mutual benefit to both countries, but will probably be of more use to Ireland than Wales, which is why they are making the running. The whole point of linking grids is to be part of a bigger unit, in which fluctuations can be ironed out more easily. This makes it particularly good news for wind energy, which is progressing at some pace in Ireland.

However, the situation is more complicated than it might first appear. There are two different interconnector schemes on the table, and in my opinion this one is definitely the second best option, simply because of where it makes its landfall in Wales. If it comes ashore at Prestatyn, it would leave North Wales in an electrical "cul de sac".

A much better route would be the one proposed by Imera, mentioned here.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/5284084.stm
http://www.imerapower.com/

Of which more details are here:



http://www.imerapower.com/page2/page3/page3.html

As you can see, Imera also plan a second interconnector between Pembrokeshire and Ireland. All in all, these are much better options so far as Wales is concerned.

My reason for saying this is simple. Wales has a very poor electricity distribution network. The map above highlights the lack of any north-south route. So these two ICs will go some way to help bridge that gap, even though they are still no substitute for our own north-south link.

The Prestatyn proposal essentially cuts Wales out and leaves us isolated. We should be fighting hard to reject this particular proposal, in favour of the much better Imera alternative.

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Re: The Electricity Grid - Irish Interconnectors

Post  MH on Fri 2 Jan 2009 - 21:57

Some very good news about the two Imera interconnectors from New Energy Focus:

EU green light for Ireland-UK transmission links

The European Commission has given the green light for two new electricity connections between Britain and Ireland that could give Irish wind power projects access to the UK electricity market.

The connections proposed by IMERA Ltd would run across the St George's Channel, one from North Wales and the other from South Wales into the Republic. The company wants to offer access to the capacity on a "use it or lose it" basis, but required exemption from EU rules guaranteeing third party access to private transmission networks. A third new Irish-British connection is being developed by Irish transmission company EirGrid.

Clearing the way for the IMERA links to be developed, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said this week: "I welcome the building of these two new electric links, which will bring security of supply and more competition to both markets. The derogation granted today by the Commission will ensure the viability of the project while making sure that competition will be respected."

New Energy Focus, 30 Dec 2008
It's beginning to look like we will get all three.
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