Fine Gael Clare Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Tony Mulcahy, has welcomed the launch of the €600 million electricity interconnector between Ireland and Britain as a major infrastructural development between the two countries.
Senator Mulcahy said the opening of the interconnector represented the largest single piece of energy infrastructure to be built in Ireland since the Ardnacrusha Hydroelectric power station in County Clare was opened in 1929.
He said: “This project will have huge potential to generate jobs as well as electricity in the coming years, and it is fantastic to see it reaching completion. It will allow for direct electricity trading between Ireland and Britain, which should be to our benefit thanks to the fact that Ireland has the capacity to generate more energy than we can use, while Britain needs more energy than it can produce.
“Running to a total of 260km, the interconnector links Deeside in north Wales and Woodland in Co. Meath and has the capacity to power more than 300,000 homes. This new supply chain should not only increase competition and encourage growth in the sector, it should also improve security of supply for consumers.
“It is encouraging that Eirgrid delivered this project on time and under budget. The Government has charged Eirgrid with delivering a number of major grid development projects over the next decade, so it is essential that they are completed in a prompt and cost efficient manner.
“Trading on the interconnector will start at the beginning of next month. It offers huge potential in terms of on-going job creation and development. I intend to work within Government to ensure the trade potential offered by this project is fully explored,” Senator Mulcahy concluded.