Members of the North East Pylon Group (NEPP) are claiming that it will be cheaper to put the North-South Interconnector underground than it would be to push forward the pylon option.

We now know that it cost €2.2m/km to put the 34km stretch of the East-West Interconnector from Rush in Co Dublin to Batterstown in Co. Meath, said NEPP committee member Padraig O’Reilly.

“This figure was made public quite recently. On this basis, the cost of putting the North-South Interconnector in place on that basis would work out at some €200m. So the €600m figure made public by EirGrid is totally erroneous.”

O’Reilly said that, when it comes to the overground option of using pylons, EirGrid is under shooting the total cost.

“They take no account, whatsoever, of devaluation and delay costs. This is a totally untenable position to take. Delay costs have been independently estimated at €240m with devaluation costs coming in at €250m.

“EirGrid has estimated the construction costs associated with the pylon option at €280m. So, on the basis of this figure and factoring in the delay and devaluation figures, the cost of an over ground interconnector is greater than those associated with the underground alternative.”

NEPP is actively campaigning for the Irish Government to opt for the underground version of the North-South Interconnector.

Approximately 750 people turned out for an NEPP meeting, held recently in Kells, Co Meath. It is estimated that farmers and landowners made up half of those in attendance.

“The option of seeking a judicial review in response to the decision taken by An Board Pleanala is certainly an option for the future,” said NEPP chairperson Amy Treacy.

“We have until February 22 to make our mind up on this matter. It will be a priority to secure legal advice on this crucial issue over the coming days.”