Wednesday 13 July 2011

Experts to review power line

THE MINISTER for Energy Pat Rabbitte is to establish an expert international commission to look at the controversial North South electricity interconnector

Pat Rabbitte said the commission which would look at “the case for, and cost of, undergrounding all or part of the Meath-Tyrone 400KV power lines”. He will finalise the composition of the three-person commission over the next few days.

The Minister said the group would be required to complete its work by October and report back within six months.

Proponents of the interconnector say it is needed to improve electricity competition by reducing constraints to the all-island electricity market and also to improve security of supply.

The establishment of the commission follows the collapse last June of the planning process for the interconnector which was estimated to cost € 280 million.

An error in the original application for the line through Meath, Cavan and Monaghan forced the States electricity network operator, Eirgrid, to withdraw the application during a Bord Pleanála hearing into the issue. A review found incorrect information was supplied by ESB International.

Irish Times

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