Ireland-Wales Greenlink electricity interconnector has secured consent for a marine licence from Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
The marine licence covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.
Greenlink said the approval by NRW is a major milestone and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Greenlink’s proposed 190-kilometre subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea. It will connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.
Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink, said:
“This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.
“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”
The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160 kilometres in length and uses high voltage direct current technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.
Greenlink also submitted a foreshore licence application to Irish Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in 2019; and the onshore planning application to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.
The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities, with plans for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events prior to construction.
Once fully consented, Greenlink should undergo a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.