GREENLINK Interconnector Limited (GIL) claims its proposed Irish Interconnector – underwater electricity cables - will bring significant benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for employment, energy security and the integration of low carbon energy sources (Western Telegraph, November 13) and for Ireland it provides a natural link to EU and Nordic electricity markets via Great Britain.


At a cost of a staggering 400m Euro, it does not make economic nor engineering sense when you could build nearly two 500 MW modern and efficient low emission gas-fired stations for this price - a gas-fired power station costs £0.5m/MW whilst a nuclear power station costs about £6.9m/MW to build.

Indeed, the Interconnector cable has a capacity of just 500 MW and therefore I would seriously question the credibility of such an enterprise.

For a start, once the two cables have been laid (possibly by outside contractors) and at the expense of disruption to the seabed, including the beach and sensitive sand dunes at Freshwater West, then what meaningful employment would be created – surely the answer is none?

The cable is to terminate at a new and expensive converter station located near to the existing Pembroke substation fed by the 2,000 MW Pembrokeshire Power Station – this power station has the capacity to easily satisfy Welsh power needs with excess being exported to England.

Recognise that even with the transmission of alternating current, customers should, ideally, be close to the source of generation to minimise line losses – this is why direct current is not used by the National Grid for power transmission.

Indeed, the length of the undersea connection at 73.9Km proves not to be suitable for AC transmission thus necessitating the Irish link to use what is known as High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) to minimise line losses.

This will require an AC to DC converter station in Ireland and a DC to AC converter station on the Welsh side. But how much line loss will occur if they envisage attempting to supply customers, say, in London, which is a significant distance from Ireland, and surely they do not envisage converting the UK Grid to HVDC for onward transmission to Europe?

The claim of a low carbon energy source is also challengeable unless they are considering covering Ireland and Wales with wind farms and solar parks and then exporting/importing as demand requires – of course, on days when the wind and sun will not cooperate, there will be nothing to transmit either way – so much for energy security.

Hopefully the Marine Licence application will be turned down by Natural Resources Wales and members of the public are invited to make comments before January 8, 2020 – let your voice be heard dear reader.

Tom Brinicombe, planning and permitting manager for Greenlink, commented: “We continue to encourage input from local residents and other stakeholders”.

No doubt he will welcome this letter in the Western Telegraph then?