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 2011-2016 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.

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). 

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.