Electricity interconnectors play a crucial role in the EU’s strategy to achieve a competitive and integrated European energy market to increase energy security and apply downward pressure to wholesale electricity prices.
The 500MW EirGrid East–West Interconnector links the British and Irish markets and brings Britain’s interconnector capacity to 4GW with the 2GW IFA to France, 1GW BritNed cable to Holland and 500MW Moyle interconnector to Northern Ireland.
The East–West Interconnector project was financed by a €300 million loan from the European Investment Bank, capital investments from commercial banks, EirGrid equity and a €110 million grant from the European Commission.
With such huge sums and massive power in play, security is vital on the 47 miles of subsoil and 116 of submarine cable that connect the Woodland HVDC static inverter plant at Rush North Beach, County Meath, and the Shotton plant on Barkby Beach in North Wales.
Zaun secured the two inverter plants for Irish national grid operator EirGrid with around 600 metres of ArmaWeave fencing to 3 metres in height, buried in a concrete cill and combined with a 4.6 metre high Harper Chalice electric fence, which systems integrator Crime & Fire Defence Systems installed.
The fence line had to be connected to an intricate underground earthing grid and to incorporate vehicular sliding gates, pedestrian turnstiles and manual gates.
ArmaWeave achieves the highest rated standards for fencing defending against forcible attack. Its unique properties and tight mesh pattern provide no climbing aids and resist cutting attacks with hand, powered and non-contact tools.
Zaun played a key role in this truly collaborative team effort, which is highly appropriate for the interconnecting nature of the project.