Anger at the failure of Eirgrid to identify an underground route for the controversial North South Interconnector has been expressed by the north East Pylon Pressure Group (NEPP), who described local government TD’s as spineless and accused them of “standing idly by.”
They have express anger at the injustice of the company’s decision to consider an underground route for the Grid West Project, while refusing to to the same for the North Eastern project.
Campaigners have accused “tame coalition representatives in North-East” of failing to deliver for their constituents.
The North-South interconnector project, announced in 2007, will stretch 140 km from Meath to Tyrone, while two other projects are also under consideration, Grid-West from Mayo to Roscommon and Grid-Link from Kildare to Cork .
The Government has appointed an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) to examine the undergrounding of the Grid-West and Grid-Link projects, but has excluded the North-South interconnector project, on the grounds of ‘urgency’.
“The exclusion of the North-South interconnector project from this analysis is an illogical and unjust decision. It is deeply unfair and discriminatory to the affected communities across the North-East,” according to a statement issued this week by NEPP.
“The admission by EirGrid that it has not adequately examined an underground cable option for Grid-West and Grid-Link is equally valid for the North-South interconnector. Why then is EirGrid forging ahead with an overhead lines and pylons planning application for the North-South interconnector?
“The exclusion of the North-South interconnector is a cynical exercise in regionalising the issue and in alienating the communities in the North-East,” according to the statement.
Eirgrid issued a statement saying it is cooperating fully with the Government-appointed Independent Expert Panel regarding underground and overhead options for the Grid West and Grid Link projects.
“The panel will also provide an opinion on the compatibility of the methodologies used on the Grid West and Grid Link projects with work already done on the North South 400 kV Transmission Project. EirGrid is awaiting that opinion from the panel.”
NEPP said EirGrid has finally conceded that undergrounding is technically feasible, which is a major U-turn
“NEPP has been consistently calling on EirGrid for the last seven years to carry out a route specific underground study for the North-South interconnector.
“We yet again call on EirGrid to do this. It can take this initiative independently of the Government’s cynical decision to exclude the North-South interconnector from the IEP review.”