Dublin’s electricity infrastructure is ageing and reaching its end of life. Work must be done to transform and modernise the city’s electricity infrastructure so Dublin can continue to develop and thrive, while increasingly using power from renewable sources.
In this first phase, with our partners, we are installing over 50km of cables across the city. Upgrades will also take place in a number of substations to support Dublin’s electricity substations located around Dublin.
We have carried out studies to identify new cable routes that will link the following electricity substations to each other:
We are presenting twelve route options for these routes and we are seeking your feedback on our current plans.
EirGrid develops, manages, and operates Ireland’s electricity grid. We are leading the secure transition of Ireland’s electricity grid to a low carbon, renewable future. And we are responsible for the safe, secure, and reliable supply of Ireland’s electricity.
The grid brings power from where it is generated to where it is needed throughout Ireland. It supplies power directly to industry and businesses that use large amounts of electricity. The grid also brings power from generators to the domestic network that supplies the electricity you use every day in homes, businesses, schools and hospitals.
This critical infrastructure underpins our societal and economic development, but just as importantly, work carried out now will help create a more sustainable future for the next generation.
With our partners, we are installing over 50km of underground electricity cables across the city. Of the nine potential routes, five will be chosen and they will connect the electricity substations located around Dublin. Upgrades will also take place to a number of these electricity substations to support Dublin’s electricity grid.
Building a more resilient and reliable electricity grid helps ensure that everyone has power when and where they need it. These improvements will help meet the growing and changing needs of Dublin. This includes the electrification of transport systems, vehicles, large energy users, heating and development of housing and offices. These critical upgrades will help strengthen Dublin’s economy, encouraging and supporting future investment.
Powering Up Dublin will also get Dublin renewable ready, so the city’s grid has the capacity to utilise electricity generated from offshore wind energy. This is a vital step to help Ireland’s transition to a low carbon electricity future. And our community benefit policy will directly support local communities in the areas that host the project infrastructure.
We have carried out studies to identify new underground cable routes that will link the following substations to each other:
The potential cable routes between these locations run mainly along the road network.
After carrying out desktop studies we have identified nine potential underground cable routes, these are called the ‘emerging best performing route options’.
Our public consultation takes place from Tuesday 28 March to Tuesday 23 May, where we are seeking feedback on the potential route options. Once the consultation ends, we will review your feedback and incorporate the feedback into our design, where possible.
We will also carry out site investigations on each route. This helps the team determine whether the routes are suitable.
After we carry out the site investigations on these routes, and engage with local communities and businesses, the routes may change slightly due to existing utilities in the ground or disruption to communities. We will then narrow down the routes and present the five best performing route options.
We are launching our public consultation on Tuesday 28 March for eight weeks. Once the consultation ends, we will review the feedback received and incorporate this into our project design, where possible.
We will then carry out site investigations on the nine potential cable routes. Our dedicated Community Liaison Officers will engage with local communities and businesses to make sure ongoing communication is maintained at all times. We are aiming to present the Best Performing Route Options before the end of 2023.
We are looking at options on how we best do this, what areas may be impacted, and how we keep disruption to a minimum.
A considerable amount of roadworks will be needed to complete the works. We also understand that such works can impact on local residents and businesses. With this in mind, we have set up a community forum and a business forum to communicate, consult and engage with residents and businesses. If your organisation wishes to join one of these, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also have two dedicated Community Liaison Officers who are available to answer any questions you may have.
To help minimise disruption and work as efficiently as possible, EirGrid is coordinating closely with other state-owned utilities, transport providers, local authorities and many more. We have set up a forum with various working groups to support this coordination.
No. This project is focusing on underground cables and substation upgrades.
We began engagement on this project in 2022 and will continue consulting and engaging with local communities and stakeholders throughout the lifetime of the project. We expect a phased construction programme commencing in 2024.
We also need to work on feasibility studies, concept designs and planning for the project.
We are committed to engaging, communicating and consulting with you on an ongoing basis.
Over the coming months and years, we will depend on your feedback and collaboration to help us carry out these necessary works, minimising disruption as much as possible.
We have set up a community forum and business forum. These forums bring local residents and businesses together so that their views are taken on board throughout the lifecycle of the project.
If you would like to get involved in the forums please email dublin@EirGrid.ie
While the Powering Up Dublin project is underway, we will work to give back to communities as part of our community benefit policy. We will give financial support to local groups, focusing on the themes of community, sustainability and biodiversity. We will be led by local stakeholders on the best ways to use the community benefit funds set aside for these projects, so that your community benefits.
Ireland has world-leading potential in renewable energy, particularly offshore wind. But upgrading of our electricity grid is required to allow this energy to be used. Powering Up Dublin will allow the city to harness this potential energy. This is a vital step to securing Ireland’s transition to a low carbon electricity future.
These improvements will help meet the growing and changing electricity needs of Dublin. This includes the electrification of transport systems, vehicles, heating and the development of housing, offices, and large energy users.
Installing the new underground cable routes may comprise exempted development. This means that no planning permission is needed. This depends on the conclusions of ecological surveys and planning assessments which are currently being undertaken by the team.
Planning permission is required for the planned work to the electricity substations and EirGrid will submit planning to An Bord Pleanála under Strategic Infrastructure Development.
It is anticipated that the total cost estimate for the project is €1.05Bn. EirGrid works for the people of Ireland, and because of this, is a regulated entity. As the Transmission System Operator for Ireland we rely on the fees paid for ‘use of system’. These charges or fees are paid by businesses who need access to the electricity system. The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities determines those charges depending on the work EirGrid needs to do.
With our construction partners, EirGrid will prioritise that the road is restored to a good working condition. This is a key consideration, along with other factors, within our multi-criteria analysis that is carried out when determining the routes. Road reinstatement requirements will be agreed with Local Authorities and will follow the Road Management Office guidelines.
The existing cables will be decommissioned. They are currently buried directly into the ground, which was the standard construction practice when these cables were installed. These cables are likely to remain in the ground for the time being.
The cable is laid into ducting which has an outer diameter of approximately 225mm and is intended to be laid in a flat formation in trenches up to 1.1m wide. The cables within each duct is approximately 180mm outer diameter.
Laying long lengths of cable alongside each other can negatively impact the performance of the cables. Getting access and finding space underground is significantly more challenging compared to when the original cables were installed over 40 years ago, meaning that many more services and stakeholders would likely be impacted.
Joint bays are required to join sections of underground cable together to form one continuous circuit. As part of our route selection process we need to carefully consider the location of joint bays to allow for the cables to be pulled through while reducing the impact to traffic, communities and businesses.
Joint bays are installed below the ground to allow for joining different sections of the cable up to approximately every 750 metre intervals, subject to constraints and available space. A typical joint bay is 2 metres deep, 2.5 metres wide by 8 metres long, with a slightly larger footprint required for construction.
The surface above the joint bay is reinstated in line with the rest of the project.