STATE-OWNED ELECTRICITY grid operator Eirgrid has confirmed that a proposed overhead power line running from Cork to Kildare will not go ahead.
The company’s €500 million plan to construct a network of pylons carrying high-voltage lines across as many as nine counties had faced consistent criticism from community groups.
An independent panel said earlier today that Eirgrid intends to instead use the current grid infrastructure from Moneypoint in Clare to the greater Dublin area.
New technologies will be used to allow more electricity flow along the existing power network, instead of constructing any new overhead or underground lines.
“The emergence of the new ‘regional option’ means there is now no requirement to proceed with the previously proposed Grid Link 400 kV overhead line,” Fintan Slye, the chief executive of Eirgrid, said in a statement.
“I am very pleased today to confirm that we will now be moving ahead to deliver what I believe is a better option for all concerned,” he said, adding that he would like to thank those “who took the time to engage with us and provided us with such valuable feedback”.
Minister for Energy Alex White also welcomed the announcement, saying the emergence of an alternative to the Grid Link project is good news for communities living along the original route.
The new plan, he said, “reconciles community concerns about grid infrastructure with the need to maintain sufficient capacity to meet the electricity needs of homes, businesses and communities as cost-effectively as possible”.
The Irish Farmers’ Association, while cautiously welcoming the decision, said Eirgrid should review plans for similar projects in the north east and the west of Ireland.
“Today’s decision by EirGrid must lead to an immediate review of the other electricity infrastructure projects, to ensure the impact on farm families and rural communities is limited,” it said in a statement.