Laois Kilkenny

EirGrid is proposing to reinforce the network in the general Laois-Kilkenny region. We plan to achieve this through the development of a new transmission line between the two counties.

April 2022

EirGrid Awards €204,600 to Community Groups in Laois and Kilkenny

EirGrid has awarded community groups and not-for-profit organisations near the Laois-Kilkenny Reinforcement Project, €204,600.

This is the first of three phases of funding available in the areas adjacent to the project, of a total fund of €511,500.

The projects and funding amounts are shown below:

Name of lead Community Group / Organisation

Title of project

Proposed Value Offered

Spink Tidy Towns

Purchase of an amenity lawnmower

€7,650

Spink Comhaltas

Spink Music Festival - Inspiring the Musicians of Tomorrow

€17,300

Ballyouskill Heritage & Tourism Society

Refurbishment of the Heritage Stained Glass Windows at Ballyouskill Church.

€14,625

Ballyroan Blue Stars Basketball Club

Ladies Team Away Kit

€875

O'Gorman Home Supported Care Unit

Conversion of Bedroom to En-suite, Isolation Room in accordance with infection control regulations

€14,400

Ballyouskill Community Hall

Insulating the Community Hall

€14,400

Ballyragget Scout Group

Equipment for Scouting Group

€5,000

Ballinakill Community Development Association CLG

Ballinakill Amenity Park Development Project

€40,500

Spink Community Development Association

Flood Lighting project for Community field in Spink

€22,500

Ballinakill GAA Club

Ballinakill Development Plan – Walking/Running Track

€14,850

Ballyragget Community Hall Committee

 Replacement of Corrugated Metal Roof of the Community Hall

€33,750

St. Patrick's (Ballyragget) GAA Club

Enhancement of Facilities at St. Patrick's GAA Grounds

€18,750

March 2022

ESB are managing the construction stage of the project.

New Ballyragget Substation:

Construction works are progressing well, the main building has now been constructed and installation of electrical equipment is currently taking place.

Ballyragget – Kilkenny Line Update:

This is near completion.

Kilkenny 110kV Substation:

These upgrade works are 50% complete.

New Coolnabacky Substation:

Enabling works are ongoing and will continue over the coming months.

The diversion of the Athy-Portlaoise 110kV line is completed.

Foundation works associated with the new masts in Coolnabacky are underway. Access road construction and substation construction works will commence in the second and third quarter of 2022.

New Ballyragget-Coolnabacky 110 kV Overhead Line:

Landowner engagement will commence on the new Overhead Line (OHL) in the first quarter of 2022.


Map of the area:

Link to the latest brochure

Update on the Community Benefit Fund:

EirGrid appointed an independent body, M-CO, to administer the fund on its behalf.

EirGrid recognises the importance of the local communities who facilitate the upgrading of the electricity transmission network and the Community Benefit Fund reflects this.

The overall Community Benefit Fund for the Laois-Kilkenny Reinforcement Project is €511,500. This fund will be released in 3 phases, which align with the development of the infrastructure:

These funds will provide support to local community groups, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises that operate or service communities near the new infrastructure.

Phase 1 of the fund opened for applications on Tuesday, November 30th and closed on Tuesday,

February 1st 2022. Applications for phase 1 were made through an online portal, an information evening was held, a grant writing workshop was held, and one-to-one project development support meetings were provided. Nineteen applications were received
from community organisations and are currently undergoing an independent evaluation process.

If you would like to find out more information, register to receive update emails or give feedback on this project, you can email project email: laoiskilkennyreinforcement@eirgrid.com

11 January 2022

Workshop - How to write a successful grant application:

Tuesday, January 11th at 7pm.

EirGrid, the national electricity grid operator is inviting community groups and not-for-profit organisations to attend a community benefit fund workshop.

Communities adjacent to the Laois-Kilkenny reinforcement scheme are being encouraged to attend a virtual workshop on writing a successful grant application for the Laois Kilkenny Community Benefit Fund.

The workshop will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, January 11th at 7pm.

To register for the workshop click here.

 

One-To-One Clinic sessions for applicants:

One-to-one clinics will also be available on January 12th where groups can seek specific advice about the application process.

To book a one-to-one clinic session on January 12th please email rjermyn@mco.ie

30 November 2021

Community Benefit Fund Open for Applications – Tuesday 30th November 2021 at 2pm

Community Benefit Fund with an initial €204,600 available for community groups to apply for.

 

The €204,600 available represents 40 percent of the overall fund and EirGrid is now inviting applications to fund for communities adjacent to the Laois-Kilkenny Reinforcement Project. This fund has been established in recognition of the importance of working closely with communities across the two counties throughout the construction of the project elements between Coolnabacky in Co.Laois and Ballyragget in Co.Kilkenny.

Communities adjacent to the line in Laois include Coolnabacky, Timahoe, Ratheniska, Spink and Ballinakill and in Kilkenny, include Ballyragget, Ballyouskill and Tinnalinton, with priority given to those areas within 3km from the line.

 

Phase 1 of the fund open for applications: Tuesday 30th of November at 2pm

Closing date for applications: 2pm Tuesday 1st February 2022.

 

Funding will be given out under two strands:

  • Small initiatives - €500 to €19,500
  • Large initiatives - €20,000 to €45,000

The fund will provide grants to local community groups, not-for-profit organisations and

social enterprises that operate in or service communities near this new electricity line, and

who can deliver projects that will create positive social and environmental impacts.

 

The overall aim is to increase public and environmental wellbeing in the community and to leave

a positive legacy in the communities hosting EirGrid infrastructure.

 

A virtual information meeting will be held on Tuesday December 7th at 7pm and further workshops and one-to-one support sessions will take place in the new year for prospective applicants.

 

Applications can be made at:

https://eirgridcommunityfund.submit.com/

Community Benefit Fund guidelines:

Click here to read guidelines

Information evening Tuesday 7th December at 7pm:

Click here to register

Community Benefit Fund Scoping Study Report:

Click here to read report

29 June 2021

An follow up meeting on the establishment of the community forum took place via Zoom on 29 June 2021 with members of the community who expressed an interest in potentially joining the community forum.

A final nomination process for commuinty forum membership is now open until noon on 14 June 2021. Nominations can be submitted here: https://consult.eirgrid.ie/content/laois-kilkenny-community-forum-nomination-form

31 May 2021

An online information evening on the establishment of the community forum took place via Zoom on 28 April 2021.

Expressions of interests to join the community forum were sought from 27 April 2021 until 24 May 2021.

We will be in touch with the next steps of the community forum and a date for the inaugural forum  meeting.

21 April 2021

Laois Kilkenny Electricity Reinforcement Project Community Forum Public Information Meeting Wednesday 28 April, 2021 at 7pm.

Irish Rural Link, a national network representing rural interests, and EirGrid, operators of the national electricity grid, are inviting communities from the Coolnabacky to Ballyragget area to an online Information Evening on Wednesday, 28 April at 7pm.

This is an opportunity for you to find out more about the Community Forum and the rollout of the Community Fund. This fund was established by EirGrid to recognise the important part that local communities play in the development of the electricity grid and will go to benefit groups and projects in your area.

The Community Forum is independently facilitated by Irish Rural Link.

Express your interest in becoming a member of the Laois Kilkenny Community Forum here.

17 December 2020

EirGrid and ESB Networks have confirmed that they will establish a voluntary community forum early in the new year, as recommended by Irish Rural Link in its independent evaluation of the Laois Kilkenny Reinforcement Project in October 2019.

In recognition of the importance of working closely with communities, EirGrid will launch a project Community Fund in 2021. It is intended that the voluntary community forum will, through its civic, social and political representatives, provide input into the administration of the fund. The forum will also receive regular updates on the construction programme from ESB Networks.

The establishment of a community forum was one of the key recommendations from Irish Rural Link, an independent organisation commissioned by ESB Networks to assess current community understanding of the project.

Irish Rural Link made five recommendations in its report and EirGrid and ESB Networks are committed to implementing them. The report is available to read here.

The full press release on this announcement is available to read here.

06 November 2020

Engagement has been continuing around Coolnabacky and a needs document giving a view of the potential future needs of the substation is being made available. This document can be viewed here.

08 June 2018

Work will restart next week on the Laois-Kilkenny project which aims to upgrade the electricity network across the midlands.

ESB Networks will begin preliminary site works for a new 400 kV substation at Coolnabacky south-east of Portlaoise in advance of the construction work which will start at the end of the year. The substation will enhance the quality and security of electricity supply in Laois, Kilkenny, Carlow and Kildare.

There are a number of elements to the scheme, including construction of a new substation at Ballyragget, County Kilkenny; a new 110 kV line between the two substations; and an upgrade to the existing Ballyragget - Kilkenny line. These works will begin later in the year.

Planning conditions for these construction works have been discharged. EirGrid and ESB Networks will continue to work with the local community and landowners to address any issues in relation to the works.

04 September 2017

EirGrid welcomes the decision by An Bord Pleanála to amend planning permission for the Laois-Kilkenny project, allowing for the installation of a temporary tower to assist construction of this important project. 

In April 2017, works started at the Coolnabacky electricity station site without the planning conditions being discharged with Laois County Council, including the erection of a temporary tower.

This is required during the construction works to ensure the safety of workers on site and to maintain security of electricity supply as an existing overhead line runs close to the perimeter of the new station.

EirGrid subsequently applied to An Bord Pleanála for an alteration to the planning permission for the temporary tower.

The temporary tower is on ESB land and is over 800 metres away from the nearest house. Once the station is built it will be removed.

We are also pleased to confirm that site restoration works have been completed as per the instruction from Laois County Council.

16 June 2017

The Laois-Kilkenny electricity project is required to improve the security of electricity supply in the region. This €110 million investment in the area will ensure that the electricity network can meet the present and future needs of all users, from homes to farms, and small businesses to industrial customers.

In April 2017, works started at the Coolnabacky electricity station site without the planning conditions being discharged with Laois County Council, including the erection of a temporary pylon.

Once this issue came to light we immediately ceased all works. No further works shall take place until the necessary planning conditions have been agreed in writing with the planning authority, Laois County Council.

The temporary pylon is required during the construction works to ensure the safety of workers on site and to maintain security of electricity supply as an existing overhead line runs close to the perimeter of the new station. 

Once the station is built this temporary pylon and line diversion will be removed. This pylon is on ESB land and is over 800 metres away from the nearest house.

We have now applied to An Bord Pleanála for an alteration to the planning permission for this temporary pylon.

EirGrid and ESB Networks regret this occurrence and we apologise to Laois County Council and the local communities. We understand the concerns this incident may have caused and we would like to reassure you that we are reviewing our processes internally to ensure this does not occur in the future.

19 December 2016

EirGrid can confirm that the Laois - Kilkenny project is now fully consented. Detailed design for the project has been progressed in 2016 and it is expected that construction will commence by mid-2017.

01 February 2016

The Laois Kilkenny Reinforcement project was fully consented and approved for construction following judicial review proceedings which concluded in January 2015.