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United Kingdom

EC awards Mainstream cash for UK-Ireland transmission work

EUROPE: Mainstream has been handed a EUR 1.4 million grant by the European Commission to conduct surveys in advance of building a transmission line between the Britain and Ireland.

The transmission line would be used to transport up to 1.2GW of electricity from the Republic of Ireland to the UK national grid. The survey is to be carried out between 2014 and 2015.

In January, The Irish and UK governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to export wind power across the Irish Sea to Wales.

In all the line will be handle up to 5GW, with the 1.2GW forming the first phase. The survey will cover all phases.

According to Mainstream, the project was handed funding as it qualified as a "project of special interest". The criteria for this is dependent on the project being beneficial for at least two member states.

In 2012, Mainstream signed an MoU with Portuguese transmission operator REN to develop a transmission line between the UK and Ireland.

The MoU covers the pre-feasibility study, financing, construction and operations of the line, which will export wind energy from the Irish Midlands to the UK from 2017. Other companies involved in the project include UK grid operator National Grid.

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