13 September 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A vote of no confidence in the ability of EirGrid to deliver the North-South electricity interconnector project received unanimous support at the September meeting of Monaghan Co Council.

However, a proposal of no confidence in Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte – who in correspondence to the Council declared himself satisfied with how EirGrid had conducted the consultation process for the controversial development – was deferred until the next Council meeting.

Its proposer P J O’Hanlon was persuaded to hold back on the motion for a month, pending the Minister’s response to a request from the Council to meet him on the issue, and the outcome of lobbying contact being made by the Co Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee with Cavan/Monaghan’s Oireachtas representatives.

Anger was expressed by a number of speakers during the debate when Fine Gael’s Owen Bannigan brought to members’ attention a document published by the Commission for Energy Regulation which detailed proposed financial incentives for EirGrid if they successfully submit a second planning application in relation to the interconnector in time, and then go on to deliver the project by 2017.

The document also refers to penalties that will be imposed on EirGrid if they fail to meet Commission deadlines.

Correspondence before the meeting from Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte TD responded to the Co Council’s previous representations on the issue as follows:

“Your representation refers to the ‘EirGrid Interconnector’. For the purposes of issuing a prompt reply I will presume you are referring to the North-South 400kV Interconnection Development.

“This development is a vital part of EirGrid’s Grid 25 Programme. Grid 25 aims to increase the transmission capacity of the national grid and includes the Grid Link project in the South East and Grid West in Mayo.

“The strengthened transmission system will ensure security of supply and enable development in the regions and in the economy. The North-South 400kV Interconnection Development was announced in 2007 and due to the need for a second planning application …

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