EIRGRID PUSHES FORWARD ITS PYLON PLANS

13 January 2022 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Construction of North South Interconnector Set for September

Michael Fisher

EirGrid has requested a meeting with the Planning Section of Monaghan County Council to discuss traffic management plans in relation to proposed works on the North South electricity interconnector (see separate story). Meanwhile an official EU document seen by The Northern Standard states that construction of the overhead line with 400 pylons, from Woodland in Co. Meath through Cavan and Monaghan to Turleenan, Co. Tyrone, is scheduled to begin in September this year. I

t’s anticipated that construction work will be completed by August 2025. In the same report (for 2020) last year the company (as The Northern Standard revealed at the time) stated that construction would start in November 2021 and be finished by September 2024. Last November agents working on behalf of ESB Networks commenced soil testing on lands near the border at Lemgare, Clontibret.

The ESBN said they had received permission to enter the relevant lands following consultations with landowners. The new proposed timetable was submitted by EirGrid in a report for ACER, a not widely publicised independent EU Agency for the co-operation of Energy Regulators. Based in Slovenia its remit is to foster the integration and completion of the European Internal Energy Market for electricity and natural gas. EirGrid provided information a year ago about the North South Interconnector, which is classified as a Project of Common Interest as it crosses two jurisdictions (one of which is no longer a member of the EU). Published in June 2021, the ACER document states that construction of the interconnector from Turleenan near The Moy in Co. Tyrone to Woodland near Batterstown in Co. Meath is scheduled to begin in September 2022 and will end in August 2025, eleven months later than previously signalled.

INCREASED COST OF INTERCONNECTOR

More revealing however is the estimated cost of the overhead line with pylons planned by EirGrid. Originally stated to be €286 million, the cost in 2020 rose to €363.43 million, and is now €368.43 million according to the company, with an allowance that it could be up to 20% higher than stated. In February 2019 the then Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton told Deputy Brendan Smith that “the most recent EirGrid estimates state that the cost of the construction…

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