Irish-Scottish offshore study wins EU funding

Transmission line study awarded €1.1 million

The Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (Isles), examining a potential offshore transmission line linking Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, has been awarded £0.9m (€1.1m) of European funding.

The funding comes from the  the EU's INTERREG IVA Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Isles' first phase demonstrated that such a grid was both technically feasible and economically viable.

Relevant projects including SSE's 600MW Islay and ScottishPower's 1.5GW Argyll Array projects are planned off Scotland's west coast, while First Flight Wind is planning a 600MW development off County Down, Northern Ireland.

This would not be the only transmission line in the Irish Sea. In 2012, cable manufacturer Prysmian and Siemens were handed a €1.1 billion deal to build an undersea connection between England and Scotland to handle the additional power supplied by renewable energy.

In January, the Irish and UK governments signed a memorandum of understanding to export wind power across the Irish Sea to Wales. The move would allow the Republic of Ireland to build onshore wind farms and deliver the energy back to the UK and help meet the country's 2020 targets.

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