Cross-border electricity connection approved – BBC News

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The project experienced a number of delays due to planning issues and court decisions


Planning approval has been granted for the North-South power interconnection, said Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.

The project will create a 138 km overhead power line stretching from County Tyrone to County Meath.

Previous requests were overturned by court rulings, with the decision resting with the ministry.

Ms Mallon said the proposal will improve the stability of the network and bring economic benefits.

The minister said:

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The route of the proposed north-south electrical interconnection

“North-South electricity interconnection remains crucial to meet the growing demand for the island of Ireland’s electricity transmission systems, promoting increased competition within the Single Electricity Market (SEM) for commerce wholesale electricity and to protect security of supply, ”continued Ms. Mallon. .

The approval is for the construction of a 400 kV single circuit power line comprising 102 towers over 34.1 km long from Moy in County Tyrone to Crossreagh in County Armagh.

From there another section extends to the village of Crossbane.

There have been over 6,000 letters of opposition to the original proposal and over 3,500 since the submission of a consolidated environmental statement.

Jim Lennon, chairman of Safe Electricity Armagh and Tyrone, said his group was disappointed in what he called a “premature decision” ahead of the release of the energy strategy for Northern Ireland next year.

“Why rush a decision that will accompany us for the next 40 years? He asked.

“We are not anti-development, but we believe that any proposal should be evidence-based and take due account of the impact it will have on local populations,” he added.

Catalyst

SONI, which operates Northern Ireland’s electricity grid, welcomed the decision and said it would “catalyze Northern Ireland’s response to climate change, reduce consumption costs and provide electricity supply. long-term electricity ”.

Managing Director Jo Aston described the project as “arguably the most important infrastructure project on the island today” and said it would be a “key catalyst for economic growth as Ireland’s North was emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic ”.

“This vital project has been in the planning system for over a decade, including a broad consultation and two public inquiries, neither our economy nor our climate can wait any longer,” she added.

‘Rapid progress’

Angela McGowan, CBI Director for Northern Ireland, said the announcement was “extremely welcome”.

“The North-South interconnection is a crucial part of the economic infrastructure that will support prosperity and jobs across the island of Ireland,” she said.

“It will ensure the efficient functioning of an efficient electricity market in all islands and support the provision of a secure, sustainable and cost-effective electricity supply in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. ”

Glyn Roberts, managing director of Retail NI, said Monday’s decision was “great news for our economy.”

He added that this would mean lower long-term energy bills for members of the organization and represented “an investment in the future of our energy infrastructure”.

“I hope we will now see rapid progress on this vital project in Northern Ireland and no more unnecessary delays. “

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