Friday, October 09, 2015

Eirgrid, withdraw plans for N-S Interconnector now

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has called on Eirgrid to withdraw its planning application for the development of the North-South Interconnector following its announcement today that the over-ground powerline from Cork to Kildare will not go ahead.

The Meath East TD said “I am absolutely gobsmacked reading Eirgrid’s announcement today. We are currently going through the wars with Eirgrid as they attempt to impose 400 pylons in across three counties, 162 in Meath. Eirgrid now tells us that the over-ground powerline connection from Cork to Kildare is no longer on the cards because it is possible to boost transmission using the existing infrastructure.

“Eirgrid CEO Fintan Slye stated today that there is now no requirement to proceed with the previously proposed Grid Link 400 kV overhead line. I am calling for Eirgrid to withdraw from the existing planning application process with An Bord Pleanala (ABP) and go back to the drawing board with regard to the N-S Interconnector.

“Eirgrid need to reconsider the direction that they wish to take the N-S Interconnector. Today Mr Slye said that this alternative solution for Grid Link is a ‘better option for all concerned’. Well, I know that I speak for hundreds of landowners in Meath when I say that the current proposal for the N-S Interconnector cannot be considered a decent option for anybody concerned.

“Eirgrid are speaking out of both sides of the mouth, and not for the first time. Slye previously stated that undergrounding was technically feasible for the N-S Interconnector, yet we see no evidence of this in their planning application to ABP. Today, Eirgrid make a u-turn and say that existing infrastructure can be manipulated to generate the power required for the Grid Link ‘regional plan’ and yet this is to have no bearing on the N-S Interconnector.”  

Doherty concluded “years have passed since we started campaigning for Eirgrid to rethink the N-S Interconnector, or at least to meet us in the middle and consider undergrounding as an option; year-in year-out the calls from thousands have fallen on deaf ears.

“Eirgrid needs to re-examine its position on the interconnector and seriously consider implementing a ‘regional plan’ in Meath as an alternative solution. The next steps are simple; withdraw the planning application and deliver what the ‘better option for all concerned’ might look like for Meath.”

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