In an effort to boost diversification of energy supply and improve energy security for Ireland and the Baltic states, the European Union has signed two grants for the Celtic Interconnector between Ireland and France, and the Harmony Link Interconnector between Lithuania and Poland.

The grants for the electricity interconnection projects, which are projects of common interest (PCI), were signed in the presence of Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and EU Trade Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan Brussels on 3 December in the margins of the PCI Energy days.

According to the Commission, for the Celtic Interconnector, €530 million was awarded for works; and for the studies for the development of the Harmony Link electricity interconnector, €10.29 million was awarded.

“Today, once again, we are showing the world how European solidarity works in the energy sector,” Simson said. “With the signature of these two grants, we consolidate our Energy Union built to provide security of supply for all citizens. The Harmony Link electricity interconnector is part of the Baltic Synchronisation Project, an endeavour that will result in the full integration of the Baltic States grids with the rest of Europe. Europe’s energy infrastructure must advance in line with our clean energy transition and with these two projects, we’ll take a step closer to our goals,” she added.

For his part, Hogan noted that through the development of the Energy Union, the European Commission has prioritised the issue of energy security. “The Celtic Interconnector will ensure a reliable high-capacity link improving the security of electricity supply and supporting the development of renewables in both Ireland and France. The award of €530 million to this project is a further illustration of the real added-value which the European Union can offer to its citizens,” he said.

According to the Commission, the Celtic interconnector will be an electric cable between France and Ireland, to be finalised by 2026, with an approximate length of 600 kilometres and capacity of 700 MW, enough to power 450,000 households. The studies for the Harmony Link electricity interconnector are part of the synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity network with the European system.