National Grid UK has confirmed that a firm grid connection of 3,000 MW has been awarded to Element Power.
The move allows Element Power to progress ‘Greenwire’ – a series of connected projects exporting wind power generated in the Midlands of Ireland to the UK via two independent subsea cables.
‘Firm’ connection means that the UK power market can take the output at all times, enabling €1.2billion worth of energy exports annually from the Irish economy.
Greenwire will involve a total spend of €8billion during the construction phase, of which a significant proportion will be spent in developing wind energy infrastructure in Ireland.
It will result in the creation of an estimated 10,000 development and construction jobs and up to 3,000 long term jobs. A legacy interconnector between the two countries will also provide an enduring benefit.
Greenwire’ proposes the development of around forty separate wind farms across the Midlands. These will be linked together through underground cabling to a central collection point.
Up to 3,000 MW of electrical power could then be exported from this point via two underground and subsea cables to UK grid connection points, Pentir in north Wales and Pembroke in south Wales.
No new overhead power lines will be installed. The first 2,000 MW connection has been confirmed for 2017 and remaining 1,000 MW connection will be available for 2018.