Greenlink Interconnector Ltd has announced financial close on construction of the 500 MW 190 km subsea and underground electricity interconnector that will join the power grids of Ireland and Great Britain. The project is the first privately-financed interconnector in Europe supported under the Cap and Floor regulatory regimes in the UK and Ireland, and represents a total investment of over €500m.
Partners Group, which owns Greenlink on behalf of its clients, has secured debt financing for the project with a consortium of banks to fund construction.
The engineering, procurement and construction contract was awarded in September last year to a consortium comprised of Siemens Energy and Sumitomo Electric Industries. Onshore works have begun in Wexford (Ireland) and Pembrokeshire (Wales) and the project will have a three-year construction period, before commissioning at the end of 2024.
Greenlink comprises a 160 km subsea high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable system, two converter stations, a tail station at Great Island in Wexford, Ireland, and onshore cable works in Wexford and Pembrokeshire, Wales. As well as providing downward pressure on wholesale energy prices, the new link should provide greater security of supply for electricity consumers.
The project has been granted Cap and Floor agreements by Ofgem in Great Britain and the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) in Ireland. The Cap and Floor regime is an arrangement introduced by the GB and Irish regulators to promote the development, financing and construction of electricity interconnectors where they are demonstrably beneficial to consumers. Proactive engagement with residents and the local communities in the vicinity of the project will continue throughout the construction phase.