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Go-ahead for key power line project in Ireland

Words: Roger Milne

Transmission company EirGrid has been given the green light for the Irish section of the North-South interconnector, the project designed to link the power grids on both sides of the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

The line will run through counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath in Ireland, and Armagh and Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

As a cross-border project, it is also dependent on the outcome of a public inquiry for the Northern Irish ‘leg’ of the scheme that is scheduled to start in February.

The development will comprise a new single-circuit overhead transmission line 100 kilometres long.

It will entail the construction of 299 pylons ranging in height from 26 metres to 51 metres.

An Bord Pleanála acknowledged that the scheme would have some adverse effects on the landscape and negative effects on some property prices, but concluded that the scheme was justified on technical and environmental grounds.

There would be no significant visual or landscape impacts across the wider area, the agency concluded.

Fintan Slye, EirGrid chief executive, said: “The North-South interconnector is undoubtedly the most important infrastructure scheme on the island today and will help deliver very real benefits to domestic and commercial customers.

“We believe the North-South Interconnector will also provide local benefit for the people of the North-East by strengthening the electricity network in the region; a catalyst for inward investment and job creation.

“The project will also increase capacity of the grids north and south, helping to facilitate the connection of more renewable electricity generation. This is essential to achieve sustainable energy targets set by the European Union.”

Read more:

Controversial power interconnector hearing begins in Ireland

Power line link inquiry reopens in Northern Ireland

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