EirGrid announces next steps for Kildare-Meath Electricity Grid Upgrade

20 July 2020

EirGrid, the company that runs the national electricity grid, is sharing the latest proposals for a critical new electricity infrastructure project ahead of a major public consultation in the autumn.

The Kildare-Meath Grid Upgrade will support the distribution of power in Meath, Kildare and surrounding counties and, by doing so will ensure that these areas continue to have a safe, secure and sustainable electricity supply.

This new project will support and boost economic development locally. It will also help Ireland meet the increased demand from the growing technology sector and help the country meet its commitment to produce 70% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

EirGrid has a six-step process for developing the grid and the Kildare-Meath Grid Upgrade is currently at step three, which determines the best option for the project and the area affected.

As part of step three, EirGrid is looking at five different ways to upgrade the electricity grid between the Dunstown Station, Co. Kildare and Woodland Station, Co. Meath.

"Feedback from stakeholders and communities is at the heart of our project development"

The shortlist of five options are: the up-voltage of two existing 220 kV overhead lines between Dunstown and Woodland to 400 kV; a brand new 400 kV overhead line; a new 220 kV underground cable and two options for a 400 kV underground cable.

All of these options are equally safe.

The need for this project arises out of the fact that many of Ireland’s conventional and renewable generators are located in the south and the south west of the country. Increased economic activity in and around the greater Dublin area means new infrastructure is needed to facilitate the movement of electricity in the region.

In addition, power is currently transported cross-country on two high-voltage power lines from Moneypoint in Co. Clare. However, the two lines are more than 30 years old and will need to transfer ever-increasing amounts of electricity, including larger amounts of intermittent renewable energy, in the future.

Michael Mahon, Chief Infrastructure Officer for EirGrid said: “This project is critical to help move electricity to where it is needed most. The Kildare-Meath Grid Upgrade will help boost economic growth in the area and is essential if Ireland is to meet its renewable energy targets.

"We understand that this is an enormously challenging time for everyone so we are exploring ways to share information in a way that is safe for all of us"

“Feedback from stakeholders and communities is at the heart of our project development. We have not yet made a decision on the type of technology or specific route for this project; this is very much the beginning of a two-way process between ourselves and the community.

“However, we understand that this is an enormously challenging time for everyone so we are exploring ways to share information in a way that is safe for all of us, respecting and maintaining social distancing.

“The public can ask questions via KildareMeath@eirgrid.com or request a phone call back from our team ahead of the public consultation this autumn. Our team, through Community Liaison Officer Eoghan O’Sullivan, are also available to talk with you on 087 247 7732.Our mobile information unit will be in locations throughout Kildare and Meath in August with details of this available on our website www.eirgrid.ie.”

Read more about the Kildare-Meath project here.

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Robert McDowell / Hannah Moore at Hume Brophy

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