Second round of public consultation on the €500 million Grid Link Project.

A route through County Wexford has been identified as the optimum solution for the Grid Link Project’s massive high-voltage power line linking Leinster and Munster, with Great Island proposed as the possible link-up location for the pylon route.

As reported in the Wexford People: Last Wednesday and Thursday nights the Grid Link Project team were in Campile Parochial Hall and in the Ashdown Park Hotel in Gorey respectively to explain the project which aims to secure the future electrical supply for Leinster and Munster, answer questions and gather feedback.

This is in addition to an information centre, which has been established at The Coach House on Marsh Lane in New Ross since April where members of the public can meet with the project team every Wednesday.

‘We are trying to engage the community as much as we can, to try get as much feedback as we can. We are keen to get people interested in the project from the early stages because there is a lot to take in,’ said John Lowry, the Grid Link Project Manager.

‘It is the public’s opportunity to influence the outcome of the project and the earlier they do it the better,’ he added.

From now until October 22 the public are being asked to comment on the Constraints Report, available on the Eirgrid Project’s website, and provide feedback on how EirGrid should develop corridors for the new overhead power line.

The Constraints Report documents physical, technical, legal, environmental, topographical or other conditions that may potentially affect or confine the location or other aspect of the project within the study area.

In completing the report, the project team undertook a desk-based study of the regions and acquired data from various local and

government authorities. The data gathered, along with previous consultation feedback, played a large part in informing the Constraints Report.

Examples of constraints include mountains, rivers and lakes, designated or protected areas such as special areas of conservation, existing infrastructure such as roads and railways, and archaeological and heritage sites such as national monuments.

Constraints are mapped to facilitate the identification of corridors – the geographical areas within which a route can be located. Having assessed the corridor options it will then be possible to identify a route. It is anticipated that the Grid Link Project corridor options will be published in 2013.

EirGrid expects to submit an application to An Bord Pleanála for approval in 2015 in the hope that by 2016 permission will be granted. Should this be the case construction is expected to take up to 2020. Typically, there will be between three and four pylon structures per kilometre.

According to Eirgrid this project aims to ensure future electrical power needs are met in the south and east of the country, help growth in the area and help Ireland meet its forty per cent renewable energy target.