EirGrid is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a preferred underground route option for the Kildare-Meath Grid Upgrade.
The electricity transmission system operator is seeking feedback on four potential routes for the project following a decision in April that an underground cable was the best performing option. Last year EirGrid conducted an extensive public consultation, during which it wrote to 57,000 homes across the two counties, seeking feedback on technical solutions for the project.
The Kildare-Meath Grid Upgrade is a high-capacity connection between Dunstown substation near Two Mile House in Kildare and Woodland substation near Batterstown in Meath.
The project will help to more effectively transfer power to the east of the country and distribute it throughout the electricity network in Meath, Kildare and surrounding counties. It will also strengthen the network and help meet the growing demand for electricity in the East.
EirGrid conducted lengthy studies in order to identify the four route options. All four travel primarily along the public road network between the two substations and EirGrid is seeking to avoid agricultural lands, motorways, town centres and industrial estates where possible.
The lengths of the four options range from 47km to 51km. While most of the cable route in each option can be laid in the road network, each will require some of the route to be constructed off-road. These off-road corridors range from 5km to 12km and are currently being investigated and analysed by the EirGrid project team.
Michael Mahon, EirGrid chief infrastructure officer, said: “Public feedback will play an important role in developing the project. We want to minimise the impact on communities and seek to avoid going through private and agricultural land and sensitive locations where possible.”
The 12-week consultation starts today (Tuesday, August 31) and the public is invited to have their say on the preferred route option.
People can find out more about the project by attending one of the public webinars that will be held in the coming weeks. Alternatively, people can arrange to speak to a team member.
EirGrid has also set up a Kildare-Meath Grid Upgrade community forum. Membership comprises representatives of community organisations and other stakeholders. The forum will act as a consultative body throughout the development of the project.