Eirgrid replaces Grid West plan with ‘smaller-scale development’

State-owned company Eirgrid has announced the decision to replace the Grid West electricity transmission project with a “smaller-scale development”.

The Grid West project was initially proposed in 2012 to connect large amounts of renewable energy to the grid. This was in response to plans to create large-scale renewable energy generation in the north-west of Ireland.

According to Eirgrid, the decision to replace Grid West was made due to the “lower than expected amounts of wind generation” in the north Connacht.

This, according to the company, means renewable generation can now be connected through the development of a lower voltage, 110 kV line carried on poles – not the 220 kV or 400 kV schemes proposed previously under the Grid West plan.

The new project should also “reinforce the electricity network, supporting Mayo County Council’s aim to enhance the attractiveness of the county as a place in which to live, work and invest”, Eirgrid has announced.

EirGrid has confirmed that it will continue technical studies on the project and, over the coming months, will engage with landowners, communities and stakeholders in the region.

The company has said that although there has been a reduction in anticipated wind generation in north Connacht, there is still a need to connect generators in there.

Those affected by the new proposal will have an opportunity to influence the decisions EirGrid makes on the matter.