ANTI-PYLON GROUPS SAY: “EIRGRID HAS DECLARED WAR”

30 April 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

“EirGrid has just declared war on the communities of Monaghan, Cavan and Meath!” This was the response from the County Monaghan Anti Pylon Group spokesperson Nigel Hillis on Tuesday after listening to the responses given by the EirGrid chief executive Mark Foley about the company’s plans to progress with the North South interconnector as an overhead line (as revealed by this reporter three weeks ago). Mr Hillis questioned some of the replies given by Mr Foley, particularly about an underground cable link being unsuitable for a ‘backbone’ project in the grid.

The CMAPC has pointed out that in the USA, the SOO Green’s underground cable project route will run 350 miles from Mason City, IA to Plano, IL, and will follow an existing railroad corridor, greatly reducing environmental, viewshed and landowner impacts, according to the project owner. The $2.5 billion interregional “backbone” 525kV transmission project will be operational in late 2024. Mr Foley had claimed that putting in an HVDC underground cable to link north and south could lead to a system collapse that was worse than what happened in Texas last year.

Addressing a meeting of the Oireachtas joint committee on climate change on Tuesday, Mr Foley answered a number of questions raised by Sinn Féin Cavan Monaghan Deputy Matt Carthy and his party colleague Darren O’Rourke (Meath East). The EirGrid boss told them: “The project is only viable as an overhead AC cable. There is no viable alternative.” He later explained: “We are up against the boundaries of physics and we cannot put an AC cable underground for…

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