Eirgrid scraps pylon plans to connect Cork and Kildare

Eirgrid will not be constructing pylons to facilitate a Cork-Kildare overhead power line as part of its Grid Link project.

An independent expert panel review found that Eirgrid will more than likely go with strengthening the existing grid infrastructure in the region, known as the ‘regional option’.

Eirgrid submitted a report to the panel, which set out an analysis of alternative options to meet the need of the Grid Link project.

The report considered both overhead and underground solutions in respect of environmental, technological and economic criteria.

According to Eirgrid, this ‘regional option’ meets the needs of the project without building new large scale overhead infrastructure.

The regional option uses a technology known as ‘series compensation’ and this would be the first time it will be deployed on the Irish transmission grid.

It is an advanced, smart grid technology that will enable more power to flow through existing lines, and so does not require new 400kV overhead lines, according to Eirgrid.

To complete this solution, an underwater cable across the Shannon estuary is required in addition to some upgrade works to existing transmission lines, it said.

Welcoming the panels report Fintan Slye, Chief Executive, EirGrid, said that the emergence of the new ‘regional option’ means there is now no requirement to proceed with the previously proposed Grid Link 400kV overhead line.

“I am very pleased today to confirm that we will now be moving ahead to deliver what I believe is a better option for all concerned.

“Finally, I would like to thank those communities who took the time to engage with us and provided us with such valuable feedback,” he said.

The independent expert panel considering EirGrid’s Grid West and Grid link projects was appointed by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, on foot of a Government decision in January 2014.

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