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Eirgrid receives thousands of submissions on pylon project

Minister Pat Rabbitte is expected to meet with the board and senior management of Eirgrid later this week.

THOUSANDS OF SUBMISSIONS have been received by Eirgrid following the closing of the submission deadline on pylons yesterday.

The public consultation process on the Gridlink project, which will see hundreds of electricity pylons built between Munster and Leinster, expired yesterday.

A spokesperson for the agency could not give the exact number of submissions made, but said they had received a very large number of submissions, “running into the thousands”.

Eirgrid said the feedback received during all three consultations to date, along with ongoing technical and environmental studies will be used to identify a least constrained corridor and substation sites.

“The least constrained corridor will be the best option from a technical, environmental, community and economic perspective within which an overhead line can be routed. In further stages of the project EirGrid will continue to consult with, and provide information to, members of the public and other stakeholders,” said the spokesperson.

It is envisaged that the least constrained corridor will be identified in mid 2014.

EirGrid does not envisage applying for planning permission until early 2016.

Analysis

He said the next step now is Eirgrid will “commence a very meaningful analysis of the submissions”.

Ahead of yesterday’s deadline, the Minister for Communications stated that if people wanted to underground cables rather than overhead pylons, then they must be prepared to pay higher for the electricity, stating that such a move would add up to 3 per cent on consumer’s bills over the next 50 years.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny also weighed in on the matter, stating “It’s ironic in many ways that some people say to me: ‘Well, my children have to go away, they have to emigrate’. And in many cases they emigrate to countries where these things are a matter of course as providing infrastructure for development.”

His comments came under much criticism by some of Kenny’s own backbenchers yesterday.

Minister Rabbitte is expected to meet with the board and senior management of Eirgrid later this week to discuss the submissions made.

Read: ‘Gaffe in the Gulf’: Backbenchers criticise Taoiseach over linking pylons and emigration>

Read: Underground pylons will add 3% to electricity bills over the next 50 years, says Rabbitte>

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