27 July 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte has accepted that the option of undergrounding the EirGrid north-south electricity interconnector project is feasible – but has refused to instruct EirGrid to seriously consider the option, it was asserted in a statement this week issued by the Co Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee.
The group, which is pressing for the undergrounding of the cabling to be used in the controversial project, was reacting to statements by the Minister made in relation to the publication of a Government Policy Statement on ‘The Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure’.
Minister Rabbitte said in the Dáil that the North-South interconnector proposal should now immediately return to the planning process in order to meet the promised delivery date of 2017.
The North East Pylon Pressure Group in a separate statement on the Minister’s comments expressed the view that the Government Policy Statement “paves the way for undergrounding to be adopted as the technology of choice”.
The following is the text of the Co Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee statement:
“The day before the Dail broke up for the summer holidays the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, published the Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure.
“The Minister in responding to a topical issues debate instituted by Meath West TD Damien English about the future plans for the North-South Interconnector stated: “the matter should immediately return to planning in order to meet the delivery date of 2017.”
“The Minister told the Dail that the Government had considered the report of the International Expert Commission which had been asked to review the case for, and cost of, undergrounding all or part of the project and had also noted the views of the Oireachtas Committee which had considered the Expert Commission’s Report.
“Minister Rabbitte’s statement goes on to say:
The Government does not direct infrastructure developers to particular sites, routes or technologies. But the Government does endorse, support and promote the strategic programmes of energy infrastructure providers, particularly EirGrid’s Grid 25 investment programme.
“It is Government policy and in the national interest, not least in the current economic circumstances, that these investment programmes are …

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