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.  

Due to the nature of the plan and to ensure that we capture all submissions, we are extending the timeframe for public consultation on the draft Grid Implementation Plan for grid development in Ireland between 2017 and 2022 and associated Strategic Environmental Assessment. 

In the course of reviewing submissions we identified an IT issue with the email link provided on our website which may have affected the receipt of a number of observations. If you/your organisation made an email submission on the Plan and associated  environmental documents and did not receive an acknowledgement can you please resend your observations to GridPlanSEA@eirgrid.com.

We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience and we want to ensure that all stakeholders have the opportunity to have their say in this Plan and SEA. Due to the nature of the plan and to accommodate any resubmissions we are extending the public consultation timeframe to 31 August to ensure that all observations are taken into account before the finalisation of the plan. 

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

Observations on the Draft Grid Implementation Plan, Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement can be made via this survey.

Responses by email to GridPlanSEA@eirgrid.com or by post to:

EirGrid SEA Team, Programme Management Office,

EirGrid,

The Oval,

160 Shelbourne Road,

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Ireland

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 have been 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.

Background

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.

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.