Pylon debate heats up as deadline passes

Electricity pylons.

Electricity pylons.

It’s likely to take weeks for Eirgrid to wade through the huge volume of public submissions received on it’s controversial pylon plans.

Last week, an Eirgrid spokesperson told the Leader, it had received thousands of submissions on its proposed €500m high voltage power line from Knockraha, Cork, to Great Island, Wexford, to Dunstown near Kilcullen.

The Grid Link Action Group made a comprehensive submission on behalf of concerned residents in Kildare, West Wicklow and Laois. There were also a significant number of other submissions lodged from individual Kildare householders before the January 7 deadline.

Meanwhile, Grid Link Action Group called for the resignation of Eirgrid’s John Lowry.

Speaking in response to his comments on Newstalk on January 7, Interim Chairman for the Grid Link Action Group, Kieran Connors, stated he was “astonished” and “dismayed” by Eirgrid’s continual “misinformation and misleading of the public in relation to the possibility of using underground cabling for the Grid Link project.

Eirgrid have continuously stated it is not feasible in an AC network. However, the Grid Link Action Group says that given the Grid Link project primarily about the point to point transportation of power, and that Eirgrid envisage having Interconnectors from France and further interconnectors from the UK which will be DC based anyway, then delivering this project as a HVDC underground solution is feasible.

In addition, the Grid Link Action Group say it is wrong for Eirgrid along with Minister Richard Bruton and the Taoiseach to resort to scare mongering by raising the issue of jobs and the resulting emigration if the project does not go ahead.

“Grid Link Action Group would absolutely support any initiative or investment project that would create jobs anywhere in the country. However, to claim that jobs are not being created in the South East at this moment in time because of a lack of electricity supply is outrageous to say the least. Eirgrid themselves have confirmed that at the moment there is actually an excess of supply in this area,” said the group.

A spokesperson for Eirgrid said it was impossible to say when they would be able to complete a report on the submissions, as it would take time to go through them. He said based on the submissions, the least constrained corridor would be chosen. He explained there would than be a fourth stage of public consultation.




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