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Electricity project to be scrutinised at An Bord Pleanála hearings today

Hearings in Laois today are seen as a key test case for EirGrid’s Grid 25 project to update Ireland’s electricity infrastructure.

File photo
File photo
Image: Electricity pylon via Shutterstock

AN BORD PLEANÁLA is to hold its first public hearings on what is seen as a key test case for EirGrid’s plans to roll out electricity powerlines and substations across the country.

EirGrid, the body responsible for the development and maintenance of the State’s electricity grid, is constructing a number of large overground pylons for electricity lines as part of its countrywide EuroGrid 25 project to update Ireland’s electricity infrastructure.

A number of local groups have protested against the construction of the pylons with hearings in Portlaoise today, which will last for three days, focussing on the plans for an electricity substation in the Laois Kilkenny area, including the installation of over a dozen high-powered powerlines.

EirGrid argues that the project is justified because of quality and security of supply issues in the areas of Kilkenny, Carlow, Kildare and Loias.

“These problems are caused by the increase in load demand in the area over the last number of years , together with the growth in forecast demand in future,” the company says on its website.

“To alleviate these concerns, EirGrid has identified the proposed Laois-Kilkenny reinforcement scheme as the most efficient solution.

However, the Ratheniska, Timahoe and Spink Substation Action Group argues the project is too large and there is a lack of information from EirGrid about why such a large project is needed in the area.

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Hugh O'Connell

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