Greenlink has appointed engineering consultant, WSP, to its €400-million electricity interconnector linking Wales and Ireland.
The 500MW 200km high voltage direct current (HVDC) link is being developed by Greenlink Interconnector Limited, a subsidiary of Element Power, and is due to start construction in 2020.
The project is predicted to save Irish consumers around €800 million over its lifetime, whilst also improving Great Britain’s access to Ireland’s significant renewable energy generation and increasing security of supply for both countries.
Greenlink will comprise a converter station at each end, connected by two electricity cables and a fibre optic cable. The cables will run underground and under the sea from the Great Island substation in County Wexford to Freshwater West beach in Wales, before continuing to run underground to the Pembroke substation.
WSP will support Greenlink through the final cost and technical assessments for Ofgem and CRU and will run the procurement process for the entire HVDC system, including c. 205km of underground and submarine cable.
As Principal Designer and Project Supervisor Designer Stage, WSP will also ensure safety in design for those constructing, operating and maintaining the interconnector.
WSP project director, Dyan Stephenson, said: “Our experienced team has previously worked on both of the existing connections between Great Britain and Ireland” (Moyle Interconnector and the East-West Interconnector).
“We are delighted to be working with the Greenlink team and are pleased to continue our leading position in this market to ensure this major project is successfully delivered.”
Simon Ludlam, Greenlink’s project director, said: “Greenlink represents significant inward investment at a local level on both sides of the Irish Sea, as well as supporting the UK and Ireland’s national energy security and low carbon strategies. In awarding this contract to WSP we are pleased to be able to draw on their experience and expertise as we continue to progress the development of the project.”
Greenlink has been recognised as a Project of Common Interest by the European Union following support received from both the Irish and UK governments. It has also received funding from the European Commission through the Connecting Europe Facility.