Projects of common interest (PCIs) are important cross border infrastructure projects that link the energy systems of EU countries. They are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all EU citizens. The majority of PCI projects are electricity or gas interconnection projects but other types of project such as LNG, specific storage and smart grid technologies are also open to apply. The majority of projects are public in nature, i.e. promoted by state bodies such as network operators, but merchant – or private - projects are also open to apply. The selection of PCIs is underpinned by an EU Commission-led evaluation process in accordance with the requirements of EU Regulation 347/2013. Project promoters submit their projects into this process. Member States impacted by those applicant projects, together with the EU Commission, decide whether or not to support them. Projects that are successful in the process will be listed in published PCI lists. The fourth such list is due to be adopted formally in early 2020.
Among the benefits of achieving PCI status is access – subject to successful application - to financial support via the EU Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility. Whilst my Department has provided Member State support to a number of projects during the four PCI selection processes to date, the State is not obliged to provide funding to PCI projects.