EirGrid is proposing to bypass the villages of Castlemartyr and Killeagh when it lays the cable for the Celtic Interconnector Project, linking the Irish and French electricity grids.
In November, EirGrid identified a route along the public road network for the electricity cable from where it lands at Claycastle Beach in Youghal to a new converter station at Ballyadam in Carrigtwohill. The company also identified options for bypassing Castlemartyr and Killeagh.
Since then, following technical assessments and feedback from local stakeholders, it has been decided to bypass both villages.
Michael Mahon, EirGrid chief infrastructure officer, said routing the cable circuit through Killeagh and Castlemartyr presents challenges.
“Instead, we are proposing to lay the cable in agricultural land north of Castlemartyr and south-east of Killeagh. We are in discussions with landowners close to both villages and are confident that we can come up with a very satisfactory solution,” he added.
The Celtic Interconnector is an undersea link that will allow the exchange of electricity between Ireland and France. EirGrid has been working on the €1 billion project since 2011 with its French equivalent, Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE).
The interconnector is co-funded by EirGrid and RTE, with co-financing from the EU. In 2019, the European Commission awarded the project €530.7 million to support its design and delivery.
EirGrid is today writing to landowners located close to the cable route in order to advise them of the latest developments on the project. The company is finalising studies and assessments and is in the process of preparing a planning application for the project.
It will be submitted to the planning authority this spring and a decision is expected to take approximately 12 months. Should it be successful, the project will enter the construction phase in 2022.
Michael Mahon added: “Notwithstanding the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we are continuing to engage with stakeholders. Our community liaison officers are available by phone and are keen to answer any questions people have.”
To find out more information on the project update page, please click here.