An Bord Pleanála has given national electricity grid operator EirGrid permission to build a new electricity interconnector between Ireland and Wales.

Eirgrid Chief Executive Dermot Byrne said the high-voltage electricity link would improve the security of Ireland's energy supply and would increase development of renewable energy.

Mr Byrne said the interconnector would mean Ireland will be able to export energy at times of high wind and import it at times of low wind.

He added that it will also deliver savings of €66m a year to Irish consumers and would bring electricity prices down.

The 260km interconnector will carry electricity from Woodland in Co Meath to Shotton in north Wales.

It will be able to carry enough energy to supply power to 300,000 homes.

Construction will begin in 2010, with the creation of 100 jobs during the construction phase.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan welcomed the decision and described the interconnector as 'vital infrastructure'.