Maine Power Link Route Discovered - Survey Identifies
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
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
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
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
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.
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