Minister in talks on wind-powered electricity super-grid

IRELAND could form part of an electricity super-grid on the western fringes of Europe supplying offshore wind power to millions of homes.

Funding has been put in place to study how the state could link up with Northern Ireland and Scotland to provide renewable energy to the rest of Europe, and sell off surplus power.

Ultimately, the network could spread across the North Sea to Norwegian wind farms, creating the super-grid.

Eamon Ryan, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, met Scottish Energy Minister Jim Mather in Glasgow yesterday to discuss plans to develop electricity connections.

“I was particularly interested in Minister Mather’s update on Scotland’s plan to connect with Norway as part of a super-grid concept that would see island countries like ours with an energy connection to Europe,” Mr Ryan said.

“Ireland and Scotland have much in common and it makes sense for us to work together on such an important project.”

The ministers revealed money has been made available for a feasibility study on offshore wind power and developing a massive grid linking the north and south of Ireland with western Scotland.

“With our shared location, Ireland and Scotland have a constant and plentiful wind supply. We must use this to our advantage, which interconnection allows us to do,”

Mr Ryan said.

“The benefits of such interconnection are significant in terms of security of supply, flexible trading of electricity and reducing the cost of energy.

“Furthermore, it will help us environmentally, as we near agreement with our European colleagues on trading excess renewable power in order to meet our climate change targets and economically, it will bring benefits to the coastal areas involved.”

The minister revealed that Scottish officials were examining the potential to link up with Norway.

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