There is no new infrastructure planned for south Kilkenny by EirGrid. File pic.
Fears that a second line of electricity-line pylons could be erected across south Kilkenny were calmed at the recent meeting of Kilkenny County Council.
As part of their ‘biggest ever public consultation’ on the future of electricity in the country EirGrid representatives gave a presentation and answered questions from councillors.
The meeting heard that while a lot of infrastructural work is planned it will be to replace existing poles and lines and to secure the existing electricity supply.
Michael Mahon, chief infrastructure officer with EirGrid, assured councillors there are no proposals for new infrastructure as part of this consultation process.
There was a proposal some years ago, he acknowledged, but EirGrid has identified a new solution for power supply.
The plan is to refurbish two existing lines bringing electricity into Kilkenny City. Mr Mahon said the supply into Kilkenny needs to be made ‘more resilient’ especially into the city.
Work will include replacing 20 masts, reinforcing the foundations of six to make them resistant to storm damage, and replacing 158 poles. As well as this the wires will be replaced along existing lines.
Last year work was carried out on a new substation in Ballyragget and that line will now be continued into Laois, creating a third supply line into Kilkenny.
Robbie Ahern, Future Networks EirGrid, told councillors that EirGrid does not generate electricity or own the electricity grid but regulate the electricity market in Ireland.
This consultation process is in response to a government request that the grid be prepared for 70% of electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
Mr Ahern said this consultation is a ‘broad sweep’ and they were not getting into routes. “There will be detailed consultation with communities in the coming years,” he added.
Councillors Fidelis Doherty and Mary Hilda Cavanagh raised local concerns about power lines.
Cllr Pat Dunphy brought a motion asking ‘That Kilkenny County Council write to the Minister asking him to ensure that EirGrid do not erect a second line of pylons on the Cullenagh to Great Island line which takes in the districts of Carrigeen, Dunkitt and Slieverue areas in Co Kilkenny’.
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