Frontpagenews.ie has learned that the state owned body Eirgrid have made an application to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government to carry out a Geophysical survey in the East Cork area.
Once a permit has been approved the project is set to begin the end of June / beginning of July and is expected to last 33 days.
Two separate marine cable routes will be surveyed with landfall at Ballywilling strand Ballycrenane and Ballycroneen Beach Ballyrobin South and Ballycroneen West.
Ballycroneen Beach is popular for surfing and fishing all year round and Ballinwilling is popular with walkers all year round. Both beaches are used by bathers in the summer months.
Its believed the proposed survey areas are not within any designated shell fish zones.
This latest survey forms part of a €1 billion project designed to trade electricity between Ireland and France in an effort to access cheaper electricity in Mainland Europe.
Frontpagenews.ie believes that if either of these routes prove viable we would see power being transferred via over head pylons to Knockraha and underwater from there to La Martyre Brittany North West France.
An Eirgrid spokesperson confirmed that the company ” have recently applied for a foreshore licence to conduct a marine survey between the south coast of Ireland and the northwest coast of France. The marine survey is part of this feasibility stage to inform whether an interconnector would be viable; it is anticipated that the survey would be completed in 2016.
The interconnector, if developed, would connect the transmission grids in Ireland and France. Possible connection points to the transmission grid in Ireland include Knockraha substation, Co. Cork and Great Island substation, Co. Wexford.
The connection between the transmissions grids would use high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology and would be by means of a submarine cable.
Due to the very early stage of the project no decision has been made in relation to grid connection points or the use of overhead line or underground cable on land.
As you are aware, we have recently completed a similar project called East West Interconnector between Ireland and Great Britain. This project utilised underground cable between the submarine cable landfall and the grid connection point inland.
A decision on whether to progress the project further is expected to be made when results of the marine survey are available.”
Last year saw wholesale electricity prices here fall by 9% when Eirgrids’ €570 million East – West 500mw interconnector with Britain became operational.
The EU has a goal of reducing its greenhouse gasses and increase its consumption of renewable energy by 20%.
Renewable sources include wind, solar, hydro-electric and tidal power as well as geothermal energy and biomass.
Increased use of renewable energy will enable the EU to cut its greenhouse emissions and make it less dependent on imported energy.