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Consortium Signs MoU on 5GW UK-Ireland Interconnector

14 Sept 2012

 A pre-feasibility study is set to take place which will look at possible development, financing, construction and operation of a 5 Gigawatt interconnector between the UK and Ireland.

In June of this year, Mainstream Renewable Power launched Energy Bridge, a private underground electricity network. The electricity transmission system is aimed at exporting large-scale renewable energy generated from wind, from Ireland to the UK starting from 2017 and will be entirely independent of Ireland’s existing electricity network.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by a consortium of firms consisting of, Mainstream Renewable Power – global wind and solar developer who are leading the export project, UK’s National Grid – Transmission System Operator, Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN) – Portugal’s Transmission and System Operator, State Grid Company of China – the largest electricity transmission company in the world.

Collectively, the consortium brings together unrivalled global capability in terms of the future developing, financing, constructing, owning and operating of large-scale international electricity transmission assets.

Commenting on the MoU, Mainstream’s Chief Executive Eddie O’Connor said:
“This is a major milestone in our plan to start delivering renewable energy to the UK from 2017. I am delighted to be working with such recognised world leaders in electricity transmission systems. We are now putting a team of experts together in order to conduct comprehensive feasibility studies and a business plan. This will be the precursor to the companies forming a joint venture to develop, build, finance, own and operate the system. This has never been done anywhere in the world and Mainstream is very excited to be leading such a ground breaking project.”

Steve Holliday, Chief Executive of National Grid said:
“We are looking forward to working with our partners on this strategic project. With our core skills in developing, owning and operating energy networks and our knowledge of new technologies – including interconnector projects – we are always looking at opportunities like this that can really use our expertise. This has the makings of a really exciting project that can connect consumers and businesses to lots of renewable energy.”

Rui Cartaxo, Chief Executive of REN commented:
“REN believes this MoU sets the ground for the study of a potentially ground breaking infrastructure for the future of European energy highways. We are happy to associate with leading players such as National Grid and Mainstream and believe that our experience will bring a relevant added value to the project and that our company will also benefit from the know-how of such highly qualified partners.”