RPS has been awarded a contract to examine the feasibility of constructing, in the Irish Sea and Atlantic Coastal areas, an offshore grid linking Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. The 18-month study will examine the potential to connect wind, wave and tidal-energy sites located over a large geographical area.
Funded by the EU Commission, the project is supported by governments in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland. A multi-disciplinary team, led by RPS, has just commenced work on the project and will report to a steering group drawn from the three governments.
Irish Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan, T.D. said the study was strategically important because a high-voltage connection in the Irish Sea would link-in with the electricity grids on both islands – and in turn would connect to a proposed 10-state, sub-sea electricity grid shared among countries in northwestern Europe.
PJ Rudden of RPS said the feasibility study would develop a business case for the delivery of the trans-boundary grid and would examine aspects such as environment and planning, technology, regulatory requirements and finance and construction.