THE public are invited to an open day in a Kilkenny city centre hotel as part of the first public consultation phase now underway for the Grid Link Project – an estimated €500 million upgrade of the electricity grid involving the construction of a new power line linking Leinster and Munster which will go through County Kilkenny and have a huge impact on individual landowners.
EirGrid’s project team will be available to discuss the project, record feedback and answer any queries that people may have at an Open Day on Tuesday, May 15 in the Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny from 1 to 8pm.
“This is essentially an information gathering exercise for EirGrid. During this first stage of public consultation we would urge people to come in and talk to us about the study area. Local knowledge is invaluable and all information received will inform preparations and plans for proposed route corridors and the line route,” John Lowry, Project Manager said.
“We encourage people who have knowledge of the area to provide feedback on the proposed study area map and let us know about any regional or locally important features that they believe should be considered as the project develops,” Mr Lowry added.
EirGrid will identify, with the help of the public, constraints within the proposed study area over the coming months. Constraints can be anything from natural features in the landscape to cultural or archaeological structures. They are mapped in the study area and taken into account when corridors are identified.
“This is the first of a number of statutory and non-statutory public consultations which EirGrid will undertake to provide all interested individuals and organisations with an opportunity to contribute to the early development of the Grid Link Project and we look forward to hearing from people,” Mr Lowry said.
To ensure stakeholder feedback is considered in advance of the project moving to the next phase, all feedback for this first consultation should be received by 5pm on Friday, June 8 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to The Grid Link Project Manager, EirGrid, PO Box 12213, Glenageary, County Dublin.
Submissions and feedback will be reviewed and considered by the project team and a full consultation report on the first phase of the project will be produced following the close of this consultation. There will be further opportunities to consult with the project to ensure the public’s feedback is taken into account. EirGrid does not expect to submit an application to An Bord Pleanála for planning approval before 2015 and public consultation will form an important part of all stages of the project over the coming years.
The public are welcome to contact the project at any time and in addition to Open Days, EirGrid has established a comprehensive information service:Grid Link Project Information centres are now open in Midleton every Monday, Carrick-on-Suir every Tuesday, New Ross every Wednesday and Carlow every Thursday, from noon to 6pm in each venue. A lo-call information line, 1890-422122, is operated during office hours. People can email the project to email@example.com or visit www.eirgridprojects.com/projects/gridlink for more information.
EirGrid, a state-owned company, is the national operator of the electricity grid. The national grid is an interconnected network of high voltage power lines and cables, comparable to the motorways, dual carriage ways and main roads of the national road network. It is operated at three voltage levels, 400 kV, 220 kV and 110 kV, and is approximately 6,400km in overall length. It is the backbone of Ireland’s power system and is vital to ensuring that all customers, including industrial, commercial and residential, from both rural and urban areas, have a safe, secure, reliable, economic and efficient electricity supply.