The Taoiseach has signed off on the Celtic Interconnector at an event in Paris.
The undersea link between Ireland and France will allow the two countries to share 700 megawatts of energy – enough to power 450,000 homes.
It is a key project for Ireland as it will allow the country to share excess wind energy when it is available and bring in energy from Europe when it is not.
Work on the €1.6bn project is due to begin next year.
Delighted to be in Paris this morning to witness signing of the Celtic Interconnector project.
Vital energy infrastructure that will bring tangible benefits to the citizens of both France and Ireland, for the use of renewables, reducing prices, and improving supply security. pic.twitter.com/RRTz5kZTO7
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) November 25, 2022
Both the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Energy Minister Eamon Ryan attended the signing ceremony at the Irish Embassy this morning.
Mr Martin said the project is essential to reduce European dependency on Russian energy.
“I have long been convinced of the environmental and economic benefits of the green transition,” he said.
“Russia’s weaponisation of energy as part of its war on Ukraine has demonstrated it is also the only route to geo-political security and stability.”
They welcomed growing connections between 🇮🇪 & 🇫🇷 – including under the Joint Plan of Action agreed last year. pic.twitter.com/a989Fx6ylH
— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) November 24, 2022
He said the interconnector is “by far” the biggest bilateral project between Ireland and France.
“Ireland and France have never been closer,” he said.
“France is our nearest neighbour in the EU, and we have many historical, cultural and people-to-people ties to celebrate.
“We already have a Joint Plan of Action between our two Governments which identifies how we can deepen our cooperation in areas such as offshore wind, the development of renewable energies, and the development of smart and sustainable cities.
“There is much that we can learn together – how to protect our coastlines, how to engage with local communities and fisherman, and how to reinvigorate economic development in coastal communities.”
The 575km cable will run from Cork to Finistere in Brittany and is due to be operational by 2026.
It will connect into substations at Knockraha, Cork in Ireland and La Martyre in France.
It is Ireland’s first direct energy link with Continental Europe.
France already has 50 electricity connections with its European neighbours.