Public Consultation Commences on €500 Million Grid Link Project

Public consultation has started on the Grid Link Project, an estimated Eur500 million development planned by EirGrid to upgrade the electricity grid. The development will involve the construction of a new power line linking Leinster and Munster. The Grid Link Project is a key element of EirGrid’s Grid25 strategy – a Eur3.2 billion investment in developing and upgrading Ireland’s electricity transmission grid.

EirGrid carried out a detailed analysis of the national transmission grid to identify the level of reinforcement required to ensure a secure electricity supply and to enable the country achieve its renewable energy targets. This analysis identified a capacity shortfall in the south and east of the country.

Dermot Byrne, chief executive of EirGrid, says: “This is a vital development strengthening the electricity grid across the south and east of the country that will help empower economic growth and enable Ireland to meet its renewable energy targets. The project will help enable Ireland to shift from a heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels to more sustainable sources of energy. It will also help ensure that the most efficient electricity generators in the south and east are utilised in the most effective way.”

EirGrid has established a dedicated project team that has identified a proposed study area within which the project will be located. The project team will undertake detailed studies and extensive public consultation over the coming years to determine constraints that will influence the siting and route selection.

The initial proposed project study area, spanning counties Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, is now the subject of non-statutory public consultation. This first stage of consultation will run for an eight-week period from Thursday 12th April 2012 to Friday 8th June 2012. For more information visit www.eirgridprojects.com/gridlink

Based on assessments to date, EirGrid has determined that the optimum solution is the construction of a 400 kV alternating current (AC) overhead line linking Cork and Kildare via Wexford. EirGrid will review its technology analysis at key stages throughout the project to ensure it remains valid.

EirGrid has established a comprehensive information service to inform people about the project, answer their questions, provide access to maps and technical documentation and hear their views. Information offices will open in New Ross, Carlow, Carrick-on-Suir and Midleton from Monday, 16th April. A lo-call information line, 1890-422 122, is operated during office hours and public open days will be held in May. People may also email the project to gridlink@eirgrid.com.

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