EirGrid has announced a set of initiatives to address public concerns about some of the major Grid25 projects. EirGrid says it has been listening to feedback from the public and is very aware of the issues surrounding the projects.
It confirms that it is now looking at an underground option instead of pylons.
It says it is still working through the high level of submissions received for the Grid Link project and will continue to do so, but a number of common themes are emerging, and EirGrid is responding with a set of initiatives to address the key concerns which have emerged.
EirGrid Chairman John O’Connor said - “It is very clear from our consultations and the public debate that concerns exist in relation to Grid Link and Grid West. It is important that we listen and respond to these concerns in a very meaningful way and that is why we are outlining the various initiatives. This major and important infrastructure programme is vital to the economy and we must do everything we can to address the concerns of communities and gain their support and trust.”
EirGrid Chief Executive Fintan Slye added - “We need to take all views into consideration and, in the context of national government policy, come to the right conclusion which best serves the country as a whole. It is in this spirit that key among the initiatives we are announcing is the decision to conduct a comprehensive and detailed assessment of an underground option, route specific for both the Grid Link and Grid West projects to the same level of detail as an overhead option. We welcome the appointment by the Government of an independent expert panel to review the underground and overhead options and provide reassurance to the public that all options are being looked at in a fair, objective and comparable way.
We hope that today’s announcement demonstrates our genuine commitment to respond to people’s concerns to the best of our ability”.
EirGrid is the semi state company charged with ensuring that the country has a reliable, secure and economic power network in place for the future, for the benefit of homes, farms, small and medium sized businesses and large employers. Modern economies need modern infrastructure and our job is to ensure that the electricity transmission needs of the country are met now and in the future. The Grid25 programme is based on a rigorous assessment of the future needs of the economy.
Eirgride adds - “In order to address the concerns that have emerged from the public over the course of the recent consultations, the following are our commitments:
• We will conduct a comprehensive underground analysis for the Grid Link and Grid West projects.
• We will work with the Government appointed independent expert panel to review underground and overhead options before we proceed to the next stages of project development.
• We will implement a Community Gain Fund encompassing a fund for localities and for residences located close to new pylons and stations.
• We will adopt and adhere to recommendations arising from the Government initiated expert review of Electric and Magnetic Fields.
• We will comprehensively address major issues such as concerns about tourism, agriculture and equine concerns.
• We will review the consultation process in order to enhance public engagement