Greenlink interconnector wins first planning consent in Wales
15 July 2020. Greenlink Interconnector Limited has welcomed the decision today by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority to grant planning consent for a portion of the project’s onshore works in Wales. This marks the first step in a series of planning consents required for the 200km subsea and underground electricity interconnector, which will link the power markets in Ireland and Great Britain.
At its meeting today, members of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Development Management Committee approved the application for the project’s underground cables and associated works between the Welsh landfall site at Freshwater West to the boundary with Pembrokeshire County Council.
Separate planning applications have been submitted to Pembrokeshire County Council for the onward installation of cables to the substation at Pembroke Power Station and for development of a converter station. Pembrokeshire County Council is scheduled to consider these two applications at its Planning Committee on 28th July.
Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said:
“We are delighted that Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has approved our planning application, which is an important first step in the consenting of the whole project.
From the outset we have placed the feedback received from all key stakeholders, including the local community, at the heart of our design decisions to ensure that the Greenlink interconnector is well designed and a good neighbour to the residents living near it.
We are particularly aware of the importance of Freshwater West to local residents, recreational users, businesses and wildlife and have taken great care to find engineering solutions to ensure that the dune system and beach remain untouched throughout construction. We believe that the final proposal has successfully incorporated consultation feedback resulting in a design that is sensitive to the local environment surrounding it.
While gaining this planning approval is a vital milestone for the project, we remain committed to engaging with the local community and the planning authorities throughout the detailed design and construction phase of the project.”
Since early 2018, Greenlink Interconnector Limited has been consulting widely with stakeholders, including a series of public exhibitions. Formal consultations were held on the draft and final planning applications by the local planning authorities.
In Pembrokeshire the Greenlink interconnector comprises a subsea cable intended to come ashore under the beach and dunes at Freshwater West and continuing underground to a new converter station located near to the existing Pembroke substation.
Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects. The electricity interconnector brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy.
The marine planning applications in both Wales and Ireland were submitted towards the end of 2019 and the application for onshore works in Ireland is currently being prepared. The project is expected to have a three-year construction programme, offering valuable local supply chain opportunities.
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Greenlink is a proposed interconnector linking the power markets in Ireland and Great Britain. The project comprises a subsea and underground cable and associated converter stations to connect EirGrid’s Great Island transmission substation in County Wexford (Ireland) and National Grid’s Pembroke transmission substation in Pembrokeshire (Wales). It has a nominal capacity of 500MW. The privately-financed project is being developed by Greenlink Interconnector Limited and is expected to be fully operational in 2023. More details at: www.greenlink.ie @Greenlink_IC