EirGrid publishes new draft strategy for the development of Ireland’s transmission grid

BITCI News - Mar 30, 2015
  • New strategy is influenced by public feedback, advances in technology and a commitment
    to minimise the need for new infrastructure.
  • Strategy highlights new technical option for Grid Link, options on Grid West, and confirms
    existing 400kV solution as the most appropriate for North South Interconnector.
  • EirGrid is seeking feedback at www.eirgrid.com/yourgridyourviews

EirGrid last week published Your Grid, Your Views, Your Tomorrow, a new, draft strategy for the development of Ireland’s transmission grid. The strategy, on which EirGrid is seeking feedback, is shaped by three key pillars: open engagement with communities, making the most of new technologies and a commitment to make the existing grid work harder before building new transmission infrastructure.

Speaking at the launch, EirGrid Chief Executive, Fintan Slye said, “We published Grid25 in 2008 based on the economic information and growth forecasts available at that time. As we all know, Ireland has withstood significant challenges in the intervening period. As a state company, our job is to work on behalf of all citizens to ensure a secure, affordable and sustainable electricity supply. This draft strategy is the latest review of our approach to ensure the needs and drivers for investment remain and we deliver the best solutions for the people of Ireland. “We committed last year, to be open with people and find out what it is they want from this most critical of infrastructure. We are now asking people to give us their views on our draft strategy.”

The draft strategy, available at www.eirgrid.com/yourgridyourviews, also supports Ireland‟s energy, economic and social policy objectives, including the Government‟s Action Plan for Jobs and the IDA’s Regional Development Strategy. The Review shows that the need for new infrastructure remains even though changed economic circumstances have resulted in reduced demand forecasts for 2025 and beyond.

Taking these elements into account, a number of additional options have emerged for some of EirGrid’s major projects. The ultimate cost of the programme is anticipated to be in the range of €2.7bn to €3.9bn, depending on which options are selected. The last review in 2011 estimated a cost of €3.2bn based on plans at that time.

EirGrid CEO Fintan Slye concluded, “EirGrid must ensure the necessary grid is in place to
ensure that Ireland remain competitive – fostering economic growth, attracting new investments,and supporting indigenous jobs. It must do this without placing too great a burden on communities, or too high a cost on industry. When we have received people’s feedback we will submit this draft to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for its consideration before publishing the final strategy later this year.”
The draft strategy is available at www.eirgrid.com/yourgridyourviews