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Maine Power Link Route Discovered - Survey Identifies Feasible Line

May 28, 2008 - Daily Post

Liverpool - Initial results from a marine survey to map a line for high voltage electricity cables between North Wales and the Republic of Ireland have confirmed a technically feasible route, it was revealed last night.

The East West Interconnector is being developed by EirGrid, the independent electricity transmission system operator in Ireland, and will enable two-way transmission of power under the Irish Sea from 2012.

The cables will connect the transmission systems in the Republic of Ireland and Britain and provide potential for growth of renewable energy through access to the greater British energy market for both imports and exports of energy.

The interconnector will be about 160 miles long and will carry 500 megawatts of electricity. It will run under the sea from Rush, Co Dublin, coming ashore on the Welsh coast near Prestatyn. From here it will go underground to a converter station and then on to a connection point with the national grid, probably somewhere in the Connah's Quay area.

When completed, the interconnector will provide benefits to electricity consumers on both sides of the Irish Sea. Its backers say it will have the potential to create access to a new market for energy generated in Wales.

It will contribute to securing energy supply in Ireland where the demand for energy is growing at around three per cent a year.
But it will also have the capacity to contribute to security of supply in Wales if there if a major problem.

John Fitzgerald, EirGrid's East West Interconnector project director, said: "The completion of this marine survey marks an important step forward for this project. It involved taking samples of the sea bed in order to test and measure its suitability for cable installation.

" We have already secured a UK interconnector license and grid connection points in Woodland, Co Meath, and Deeside which were key milestones for this project and we are satisfied that we now have the information to progress the project to the next stage."

He added: "During this comprehensive survey, geophysical and geotechnical samples were taken along our preferred route corridor from Rush Bay to the vicinity of Prestatyn. Three separate landfalls at Rush and two landfalls at the Welsh coast were investigated with the corridor width extending to one kilo metre at some points.
" While samples are now sent away for laboratory analysis, we have commissioned a separate environmental survey to supplement our overall route selection which we expect to announce early this summer."

EirGrid has appointed engineering consultancy firm J. P. Kenny as marine advisor for the East-West Electricity Interconnector project. J. P. Kenny, part of international energy services company John Wood Group, has worked on other major projects including gas pipelines from Algeria to Sardinia, Algeria to Italy, and Balearic Islands to Spain, as well as the Irish Sea gas interconnectors.

(c) 2008 Daily Post; Liverpool. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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