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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article12 December 2022European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency2 min read

CEF Energy and the Celtic Interconnector: towards a carbon-free Europe by 2030

Signature Celtic Interconnector

Last month, the Celtic Interconnector reached a new milestone: Ireland and France signed the contract to keep working on the underwater electricity connection linking the two countries. In particular, the agreement will enable the project to kick off the construction phase, which is foreseen to start in 2023.

About the Celtic Interconnector

Co-funded by CEF Energy, the Celtic Interconnector is a Project of Common Interest (PCI) developed by the Irish electricity grid operator EirGrid and its French counterpart Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE). Its ultimate goal is to contribute to the European goals regarding the energy transition and climate change by facilitating the progress towards a low carbon electricity mix. Hence, the PCI will be a fundamental project in the development of an integrated energy system for the European energy market and it will contribute to that via the installation of a 700 MW electricity interconnector of 575km, out of which 500km of cables will run through the Celtic Sea. Such a system would mean that electricity could move around more efficiently to the places that need it.

Once built and operational (expected in 2027), it will be the first interconnector between Ireland and France/continental Europe and will bring many benefits for both countries and the EU as a whole:

  • it will end Ireland’s isolation from the European Union’s power system, making the supply of electricity more secure,
  • It will allow 700 MW  of electricity to move between the countries, which equals the supplying power needed for around 450,000 homes,
  • It will facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources into the European electricity grid
  • It will provide a direct telecommunications fibre optic link between Ireland and France (and continental Europe).

Last but not least, the project will also contribute to achieving the EU’s climate objectives, in particular a carbon-free Europe by 2030.

CEF Energy support

CEF Energy co-funded two studies Actions for the prefeasibility studies and the initial design and pre-consultation phases, both contributing to the delivery of the Celtic Interconnector.

Nowadays, CEF Energy also co-funds the works phase of the interconnector through Action 1.6-0010-FRIE-W-M-19 with the aim to finalise the construction and pre-commissioning of the Celtic Interconnector. 

In total, CEF Energy will contribute with EUR 537.6 million to the implementation of the Interconnector.

State of play

In the course of 2022, the Interconnector has received all the necessary consents, permits and licences in France, Ireland and the UK for the construction to start.

Furthermore, in November 2022 the national regulatory authorities of Ireland and France issued an update of the cross-border cost allocation (CBCA) decision of October 2019. This paved the way for the Celtic Board to take the Final Investment Decision and signed the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts for the cables and converter stations.

More information

Website of the project

News about the contract signature on 25 November 2022

Celtic Interconnector Brochure