Environment

Respect for the environment is a key part of the development and operation of the transmission system. Electricity transmission infrastructure (overhead lines, underground cables, substations) interacts with many environmental factors including natural habitats, wildlife- especially birds, landscape and cultural heritage.

We undertake Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) of our Grid implementation plans every 5 years. Our current plan and SEA covers the period 2017-2022 and can be accessed on the icon below.

Individual projects are all subject to environmental assessment and Appropriate Assessment (EU Habitats Directive).

We have published a number of studies which assess how the existing transmission system interacts with the natural and human environment. 

We have also published guidelines for standard approaches to assessing potential impacts of transmission projects on ecology and cultural heritage. Guidance on EMF and human health is also available. These studies and guidelines assist us to identify, characterise and mitigate potential environmental impacts in the development of grid infrastructure.

For more information on our studies and guidelines, please see below.

Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) of our Grid Implementation Plans

Read about our current and previous consultations on the Strategic Environmental Assessments of our Grid Implementation Plans below.  

EirGrid has prepared a draft Grid Implementation Plan for grid development in Ireland between 2017 and 2022. This is the second Grid Implementation Plan that EirGrid has prepared. The first Grid Implementation Plan and Strategic Environmental Assessment were adopted in 2012.

The Grid Implementation Plan outlines how the grid will be developed over the next five years. The plan integrates Ireland's Grid Development Strategy, the approved Transmission Development Plan 2016 and the EirGrid policies and objectives that guide sustainable grid development.

In accordance with European and national Law, EirGrid is currently undertaking Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment of the draft Grid Implementation Plan 2017-2022.

Strategic Environmental Assessment ensures that environmental considerations form part of the preparation of plans and programmes before their completion. It aims to provide a high level of protection for the environment and to promote sustainable development.

Appropriate Assessment is a process by which impacts on nature conservation sites designated Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas are examined. The process aims to ensure that a plan will not negatively affect the integrity of any Special Areas of Conservation or Special Protection Areas site. 

Both of these processes ensure that the draft Grid Implementation Plan incorporates environmental considerations and the protection of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas. The reports describing these assessments are entitled the Strategic Environmental Assessment - Environmental Report and the Natura Impact Statement. They are published with the draft Grid Implementation Plan for public comment.

We want to hear your views on how environmental considerations have been integrated into the draft Grid Implementation Plan. EirGrid welcomes your views, or those of any group or organisation you represent on these documents. 

The documents are available below and at our offices by appointment:

The period for submitting your views runs until 31 July 2018.  All submissions should include your name, address and details of any organisation or community group you represent. 

The easiest way to make a submission is by completing our online survey. Alternatively you can e-mail a submission to GridPlan@Eirgrid.com or post to:

EirGrid Planning and Environment Unit,

EirGrid,

The Oval,

160 Shelbourne Road,

Ballsbridge,

Dublin 4

For those who intend to make a submission via email or post, by way of a guideline you might consider the following questions:

1. Have the relevant aspects of the environment as they relate to the draft Grid Implementation Plan been described?

2. Have the relevant significant effects [positive and negative] of the draft Grid Implementation Plan been considered?

3. What amendments to the draft Grid Implementation Plan 2017-2022 are required to adequately reflect the findings of the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Natura Impact Statement?

Note: Responses to this consultation are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007-2014. Confidential or commercially sensitive information should be clearly identified in your submission. However parties should also note that any or all responses to the consultation are subject in their entirety to the provisions of the FOI Acts and may be published on the EirGrid website.

Some reading material on the background to this consultation can be found below:

In 2008 we published Grid25, our strategy to develop the grid. The below documents were produced in line with this strategy and gave an overview of how the early stages of Grid25 were intended to be implemented. The strategy outlined the investment required to develop the transmission network in order to future-proof Ireland’s electricity needs. We are now reappraising the need and the drivers for these investments. We have produced a new draft strategy which responds to feedback received from the public, as a key part of our renewed efforts to encourage greater participation in our decision-making process. It also reflects an updated view of the economic context, and incorporates our growing experience of promising new transmission technologies.  We will develop a plan of how best to implement this strategy taking environmental into account in a formal Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). 

Environmental Impact

Read about our guidelines for electricity transmission projects and our evidence-based environmental studies below.

We have published a number of guidelines for electricity transmission projects.  These guidelines aim to ensure a standard approach to environmental assessment of high voltage transmission projects.  These guidelines have been informed by the evidence based environmental studies. Note: the Ecology Guidelines will be updated in 2017.

Over the past number of years, we, together with RPS Group, have prepared Evidence-Based Environmental Studies. These studies examine the environmental impact of the construction and existence of transmission infrastructure in Ireland in a representative range of Irish environmental conditions.

These authoritative studies are an ongoing body of work that will be updated to take account of new information and/or developments in understanding arising from practice and research.  They have been prepared by environmental experts with peer review from industry experts.  A steering group made up of various industry stakeholders and environmental organisations also contributed to the development of these studies.