21 December 2016
An Bord Pleanála has granted approval for a major cross-border electricity interconnection project. Known as the North-South 400kV Interconnector, this project proposes a second high-capacity electricity transmission line between Ireland and Northern Ireland. A 140km long 400kV overhead line will link counties Meath and Tyrone and, upon completion in 2020, will increase the efficiency of the Single Electricity Market and the security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland.
The decision by An Bord Pleanála represents the culmination of the planning process for the 100km section of the project in Ireland.
Responding to the decision, Denis Naughten T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment said:
"This is a key milestone in the development of the North South Interconnector, which is a critical piece of energy infrastructure that will benefit all people on the island of Ireland."
"The next stage in the development of this project is the planning process in Northern Ireland which is currently underway."
"As Minister with responsibility for energy, I must ensure that the State has ongoing access to secure and competitively-priced electricity. This project will improve the efficiency of the Single Electricity Market and enhance the security of electricity supply in both Ireland and Northern Ireland."
"I am fully aware of the difficulties this project has faced and the concerns among people who live close to the route of this project. I also note that a number of conditions are attached to the decision and EirGrid will have to consider and appropriately address these. In this regard, I expect EirGrid to engage directly and with openness with communities along the route of this project."
The planning decision by An Bord Pleanála relates to the 100km section of the project in Ireland. A planning process for the 40km section of the project in Northern Ireland is currently underway.