Publication of the independent expert review on the North-South Interconnector

Strategic project is critical for security of electricity supply and will reduce the cost of electricity for consumers across the island of Ireland

The Cabinet has today noted the independent expert review on the North-South Interconnector, which has been published on The review found that the conclusions of the 2018 International Expert Commission on the decision to build the North-South Interconnector above ground remain valid.

This North-South Interconnector will link the electricity transmission networks of Ireland and Northern Ireland by means of a 138km long, high-capacity (1500MW) interconnector. This strategic project, which is being undertaken by EirGrd and SONI in Northern Ireland, will more than double the power transfer between North and South and is deemed critical to the security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland.

In addition, the Interconnector will be able to accommodate a high level of renewable energy on the electricity system, thereby decarbonising our electricity grid and contributing to the achievement of Ireland’s climate objectives.

This vital infrastructure project will also reduce the cost of electricity to consumers on the island by ensuring a more efficient operation of the Single Electricity Market, with forecasted savings and benefits to reach €87 million per year by 2030 (shared between Ireland and Northern Ireland). Furthermore, it will also support economic development in both regions.  

The review acknowledges that the option of undergrounding the North-South Interconnector has been comprehensively assessed on several occasions (five reports and studies). However, it concludes that the Interconnector cannot be undergrounded because it will not provide the reliability and stability that is required. Without those benefits, which a HVDC underground cable would not give, the savings and benefits to the consumer would be substantially less. 

The North-South Interconnector has received planning approval in both Ireland and Northern Ireland and is now ready to enter the construction phase, and is anticipated to be completed by 2026.

The North-South Interconnector Project — Independent Experts Review 2021 can be found here.

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