This project proposes the addition of a new 400 kV overhead line to our grid, connecting the electricity grids of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This proposed line would run through counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath in Ireland, and Armagh and Tyrone in Northern Ireland.
EirGrid welcomes the decision by Northern Ireland Minister Mallon MLA today to approve planning permission for the North South Interconnector in Northern Ireland. The project received planning permission in Ireland in December 2016. The project is critical to improving the security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland, helping us to move towards 70% renewable electricity by 2030 in Ireland.
The project is a much-needed high capacity and resilient link between the electricity grids in Northern Ireland and Ireland and will remove costly blockages on the network. It will allow for the flow of 900 MW of renewable electricity across the border, in both directions, enough to power 600,000 homes on green energy
Due to its economic, environmental and societal benefits, the North South Interconnector has received strong backing from Government and industry, given the importance of a resilient and well-connected electricity grid for Ireland’s economic wellbeing, and the role this project will play in meeting our environmental objectives.
ESB Networks has been engaged in a competitive tender process for a framework contract for the design, test and supply of steelwork for the North South Interconnector. This framework contract has been awarded, however no critical procurement process for construction will be concluded until all planning issues in Northern Ireland are resolved. The North South Interconnector remains essential to reduce costs to consumers, for decarbonisation and for a secure supply of electricity across the island.
The Supreme Court upholds planning approval for the southern section of the North South Interconnector, drawing the legal process to a close in Ireland.
Planning approval for the project was granted by An Bord Pleanála in December 2016. This was subsequently made the subject of judicial review proceedings in the High Court. The proceedings were dismissed by the High Court in August 2017. An appeal was then dismissed by the Supreme Court on 09 February 2019. This means the project has now cleared all planning and legal hurdles in Ireland.
On 08 February, the Department for Infrastructure conceded to a legal challenge against the planning permission for the project in Northern Ireland. This challenge argued that planning approval could not be granted in the absence of an Infrastructure Minister.
However, in November 2018, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland introduced new legislation. This gives Permanent Secretaries across the NI Civil Service the right to make key decisions when there is no Executive in place.
Given this, we, along with our colleagues at SONI are hopeful that the DFI will re-approve the planning permission for the North South Interconnector in Northern Ireland.
EirGrid welcomes the findings of two independent studies into the North South Interconnector, published today. The studies were commissioned by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
In one of the studies, an International Expert Commission examined the technical feasibility and cost of undergrounding the interconnector. The findings support EirGrid’s approach to the project, confirming that an overhead line is the best technical solution and the most cost efficient for consumers.
The second study examined how compensation is provided to property owners in the vicinity of new transmission infrastructure in a range of countries. It concluded that there is no scientific basis for a claim that transmission lines cause health problems. It also states that there is limited evidence from numerous analyses of sales prices that transmission lines depress the value of the land over which they pass.
You can find links to both studies here.
As part of its terms of reference the International Expert Commission was required to consult with EirGrid and other interested parties. EirGrid met the Independent Expert Commission in November 2017. Following that meeting we presented the International Expert Commission with a document setting out our consideration of the technology options for the proposed North South Interconnector. A copy of that document can be found here.
On 23 January 2018, the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland announced its approval of planning permission for the northern element of the North South Interconnector.
The approval from the DFI comes after a positive recommendation from the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) which reviewed the planning applications and carried out a Public Inquiry into the project; held in Armagh in February 2017.
An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the southern element of the North South Interconnector in December 2016. This decision has been upheld in the High Court following a number of legal challenges; with the final judicial review concluding in January 2018.
The High Court has today dismissed two legal actions against the southern element of the North South Interconnector.
Planning approval for the project was granted by An Bord Pleanála in December 2016. This was subsequently made the subject of judicial review proceedings by opposition group NEPPC that were dismissed by the High Court last year. A subsequent application to appeal that decision by NEPPC was dismissed on 11 January 2018.
The court also dismissed a separate judicial review taken by environmental campaigner Val Martin.
ESB have published a tender notice for works relating to the North South Interconnector.
A minimum of nine months has been set aside in the programme of works to complete the procurement process, identify a contractor and agree contracts. No works will be commissioned on the project during this time.
The tender notice has been published in order to comply with restrictive and lengthy timelines set out by the Official Journal of the European Union, in which all tenders from the public sector valued above a certain financial threshold must be published.
Planning permission was granted for the southern element of the North South Interconnector last December, 2016. However the project is currently the subject of a number of planning, judicial and governmental reviews. As a result, this process can be cancelled at any time if necessary.
ESB decided to avail of this current review period in order to progress elements of the North South Interconnector project that demand very lengthy lead in times. The outcome of the current reviews are expected to be known before the Europe wide procurement process has concluded.
EirGrid welcomes the decision of the High Court to uphold planning approval for the southern element of the North South Interconnector.
Planning approval for the project was granted by An Bord Pleanála last December. This was subsequently made the subject of judicial review proceedings, culminating in the decision of the High Court on 22 August.
John Fitzgerald, director of grid development and interconnection at EirGrid, said: “The North South Interconnector is undoubtedly the most important infrastructure scheme on the island today and will help deliver very real benefits to domestic and commercial customers.
“We look forward to moving on to the next stage of the project, in particular engaging with landowners in Meath, Cavan and Monaghan who are directly affected by it.”
On 21 December An Bord Pleanála announced that it had granted planning approval for the southern element of the North South Interconnector. Full details of An Bord Pleanála’s decision can be found here.
Also on 21 December An Bord Pleanála in its capacity as Ireland’s competent authority for European Projects of Common Interest (PCI) issued its comprehensive decision in accordance with Article 8 (3) (c) of EU Regulation No. 347/2013. A copy of the comprehensive decision can be viewed here.
All statutory consents are now in place for the part of the overall interconnector located in Ireland. The part of the interconnector project located in Northern Ireland is the subject of a separate statutory process and as part of that process a Public Inquiry is scheduled in Northern Ireland for February 2017.
EirGrid had neither knowledge of, nor involvement in, the survey that is currently being carried out in the North South Interconnector project area.
In early 2016, EirGrid was contacted by NUI Galway and UCD and advised that both universities intended to conduct research, at a national level, on public acceptance of high voltage overhead lines. However, EirGrid was not asked to become directly or indirectly involved further and did not provide funding nor support. The company first became aware of this specific survey in the Meath area on Monday, October 17th.
EirGrid understands that this is an independent survey being carried out on behalf of the NUI, Galway. EirGrid has become aware that one of the people involved in the survey has previously carried out some work for EirGrid, but is no longer acting in that capacity.
The company believes that the timing of this survey is inappropriate as the project is progressing through the statutory planning process
The An Bord Pleanála oral hearing into the North South Interconnector finished in May 2016, with a potential planning decision later this year.
If you would like to view additional material that has been presented by EirGrid to An Bord Pleanála at the oral hearing into the North South 400 kV Interconnection Development, please click here.
An oral hearing into the proposed North South 400kV Interconnection Development opens on Monday 7 March in the Nuremore Hotel, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan.
An Bord Pleanála has convened the hearing, which is expected to last 12 weeks.
The main purpose of the oral hearing is to give those who made submissions during last year’s public consultation an opportunity to elaborate on any outstanding point of difference. The EirGrid project team and its specialist consultants will be on-hand throughout the hearing.
The hearing will be divided into two parts. Part one will deal with strategic issues, such as the need for the development and consideration of alternative technologies. Part two will deal with site-specific issues.
If you would like more information on any aspect of the project, you can talk to our team on the ground,or drop in to our office in Carrickmacross. Contact our Community Liaison Officer Gráinne Duffy on 085 887 4798, email: email@example.com, or our Agricultural Liaison Officer John Boylan on 085 877 2957, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EirGrid Information Office:
Carrickmacross: Carrickmacross Workhouse, Shercock Road, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. Open Monday – Thursday 10am - 5pm
Meetings are also available by appointment in Carrickmacross, Cootehill, and Navan.
EirGrid has arranged for the Response to the Issues Raised in Submissions/Observations document that was submitted to An Bord Pleanála on 19 October 2015 to be translated into Irish. On 19 February 2016, following a request from An Bord Pleanála, the Irish version was published on the planning application website.
We welcome An Bord Pleanála’s decision to convene an oral hearing and note that it is likely to commence in early March. Each aspect of this process is managed by An Bord Pleanala. We await further detail from An Board Pleanala with regard to the upcoming Oral Hearing.
Our office in Carrickmacross will continue to be open ahead of the Oral Hearing, for anyone who has queries about our application.
Carrickmacross Workhouse, Shercock Road, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. Open Mondays 10am - 5pm
We are also available to meet outside of these times at our Carrickmacross or Cootehill offices on request.
Metings in Navan can also be arranged on request.
An Bord Pleanála received a total of 903 valid submissions during the public consultation which ran from 16 June to 24 August 2015. These submissions covered specific considerations on the project, such as the potential for undergrounding, health concerns and the effect on land.
On 28 September, An Bord Pleanála asked us to respond to these submissions.
We submitted our detailed response to An Bord Pleanála on 19 October as requested. This response covers the issues raised.
On 1 December, An Bord Pleanála asked us to publish this response on the project’s planning website. This was published on 3 December and is available to view at www.eirgridnorthsouthinterconnector.ie.
If you would like further information on our application, we are available to meet with you, at your home or at one of our offices in Navan, Carrickmacross or Cootehill, at any point in the coming weeks.
From Monday 4 January to Friday 29 January, our offices will also be open at the times below, should you wish to drop in. No appointment is necessary.
Navan: 10a Kennedy House, Kennedy Road, Navan, Co. Meath. Tuesdays and Fridays 12 noon - 7pm
Carrickmacross: Carrickmacross Workhouse, Shercock Road, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. Mondays and Thursdays 12 noon - 7pm
Cootehill: Cootehill Enterprise & Technology Centre, Cootehill, County Cavan. Wednesdays 12 noon – 7pm
We are available on Lo-Call 1890 252 690, or by email email@example.com.
Just over 900 submissions/observations were received by An Bord Pleanála during the period of public consultation. An Bord Pleanála provided copies of these to EirGrid and invited us to respond to the issues raised in them.
On 19 October 2015 EirGrid submitted a report to An Bord Pleanála detailing its response to the issues raised in submissions and observations.
On 16 June 2015 a ten-week period of statutory public consultation commenced in respect of the planning application for the North-South 400kV Interconnection Development. The application documentation, including the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) remains available for public viewing/downloading on the dedicated planning application website at www.eirgridnorthsouthinterconnector.ie.
Throughout this ten-week period all documentation was on public display at the offices of:
All documentation remains available for viewing at the above locations.
The documentation was also available for viewing at EirGrid’s Project Information Centres.
The deadline for submissions or observations in respect of the application to be made to An Bord Pleanála closed at 5.30 p.m. on Monday 24th August 2015.
On 09 June 2015 the PCI Unit of An Bord Pleanála accepted for examination the application. Also, on 09 June EirGrid submitted a planning application for the North-South 400 kV Interconnection Development to the Strategic Infrastructure Division of An Bord Pleanála.
An Bord Pleanála (ABP) drew up a detailed schedule for the permit granting process in the context of PCI procedures.
EirGrid published the Project of Common Interest information leaflet as is required by the Concept of Public Participation (CPP) that provides information on the project, the PCI process and the indicative date for lodgement of the application.
An Bord Pleanála (ABP) advised that it had considered the information provided to it by EirGrid in March 2015 and that it was satisfied that EirGrid has now complied with its request of 16th December 2014 for the provision of certain specified missing information. On that basis ABP stated that it would now accept the application subject to the drawing up by ABP of the detailed schedule for the permit granting process. ABP further advised that EirGrid can now proceed to inform the general public, as required under the modified Concept for Public Participation (CPP), of the indicative date for lodgement of the application.
EirGrid re-published its proposed line route which will form the basis of an application for planning approval to be submitted to ABP in the coming months. This followed a review of the December 2013 line design. The review resulted in some of the proposed tower locations being re-positioned along the alignment. The alignment itself has not been changed. The owners of the landholdings affected by these changes were notified in advance.
Maps showing the proposed line route in the Meath Study Area and the Cavan Monaghan Study Area are available for viewing on this website.
EirGrid submitted information to ABP which included the information that was requested by ABP on 16 December 2014. ABP was then required to consider the information submitted by EirGrid. In addition ABP was required to draw up, in close cooperation with EirGrid, the schedule for the permit granting process. EirGrid was then required to publish the information leaflet and advertisement required as part of the modified CPP and will thereafter finalise the application file and submit it to ABP in accordance with the schedule.
EirGrid, with the agreement of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, published the report that it submitted in June 2014 to the Government appointed Independent Expert Panel.
ABP informed EirGrid that it has reviewed the DAF and that certain specified missing information was required to be submitted. Further this request for missing information does not preclude ABP from seeking additional or further information should this be deemed necessary during the Strategic Infrastructure Development planning process.
EirGrid submitted its draft application file (DAF) to the competent authority (ABP) for review. This was administrative and does not involve ABP making any judgment as to the merits of the application. Instead its purpose is to allow the competent authority to assess the extent of the information provided in the DAF and, as set out in the Regulation, request any “missing information” that it deems necessary.
ABP notified EirGrid by letter that it had modified the CPP, which EirGrid submitted on 31 July 2014. The modification requires that EirGrid publish an information leaflet in relation to the project and the PCI process and place an advertisement in national newspapers notifying the public of the publication of the leaflet.