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£1m clinched for ISLES part two

European cash to support research work on offshore grid feasibility

£1m clinched for ISLES part two image

The second part of the Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) has been commissioned after clinching £1m in European funding.

It will examine how an offshore grid could be established by breaking down the financial, legal and regulatory issues that can impact on cross-border energy projects.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said the news, coupled with SSE’s progress on the Western Isles connectivity cable, offered “hugely encouraging progress” on the infrastructure necessary to allow the renewable energy industry to reach its full potential in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Ministers from all three administrations were at the British Irish Council summit in Londonderry today and have pledged to work together on the scheme.

Salmond said: “This study is examining how we can establish an offshore electricity grid to make transference of energy easier, supporting our flourishing renewables industry by powering the nation and allowing the surplus energy it generates to be exported to other markets.

“The timing of the ISLES funding is even more apt, coming as it does just days after SSE confirmed that the potential for renewable energy output on Scotland’s islands had led it to submit a needs case to Ofgem for its £780m subsea cable link to the Western Isles.”

Northern Ireland energy minister Arlene Foster added: “This project has the potential to send important investment signals to private sector companies who are considering investing in offshore grids.”

Image: Salmond wants to help renewables reach their potential (Scottish government)

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