NEED TO UNDERGROUND PROPOSED NORTH SOUTH INTERCONNECTOR – BRENDAN SMITH TD…

12 March 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

NEED TO UNDERGROUND PROPOSED NORTH SOUTH INTERCONNECTOR – BRENDAN SMITH TD…

Michael Fisher

EirGrid is consulting the public nationally about the future shape of Ireland’s electricity system. It is seeking comments during the next three months on its plans to meet ambitious targets set by the government of achieving 70% of supply generated from renewable sources by 2030, replacing fossil fuels such as coal and peat. Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, leader of the Green Party, is strongly supporting EirGrid’s plans. These include the construction of the North South interconnector as an overhead high voltage line with 400 pylons across five counties including Monaghan. In a written Dáil reply, Minister Ryan makes it clear once again that he does not intend to commission any further review of the plan first put forward fifteen years ago as “the option of undergrounding the North-South Interconnector has been comprehensively assessed on several occasions.”

Meanwhile EirGrid’s latest PR drive sets out four ways of coping with the projected increasing demand for electricity. One is a technology led solution, trying to move clean electricity across the country from the west coast of Ireland where it will be generated towards the east coast where the demand exists around Dublin. EirGrid’s accompanying video shows the construction of an underground cable using high voltage direct current. It then goes on to appear to rule out this method as an expensive, technically challenging and complex solution “and so is rarely used on national grids.”

DÁIL QUESTION

Minister Ryan made his views known in response to a question from Cavan Monaghan Fianna Fáil Deputy Brendan Smith. He again called on the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications to carry out a proper review of the proposed North South Interconnector. Deputy Smith told The Northern Standard that Minister Ryan’s response in which he stated that the option of undergrounding the North South Interconnector has been comprehensively assessed was far from adequate. “The previous government did not carry out the comprehensive assessment in relation to the option of undergrounding the transmission cables as requested through motions in Dáil and Seanad Éireann in February 2017. The comprehensive assessment as requested by those…

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