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Interconnector 'vital for security of energy supply'

By Margaret Canning

The North-South Interconnector is necessary to guarantee the security of the electricity supply in the province, the System Operator Northern Ireland (SONI) has said.

SONI representatives last night addressed Belfast City Council on the importance of the electricity-sharing connector to the area.

A controversial planning application - which is opposed by some parties on both sides of the border - is currently with the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC). The PAC and Environment Minister will make the decision on the proposal.

SONI general manager Robin McCormick said the interconnector was "needed to underpin security of electricity supply for Northern Ireland".

"It will also improve the efficiency of the electricity market in Northern Ireland resulting in lower bills for customers," he added.

Mr McCormick said the project was expected to reduce electricity prices for consumers across the island by at least £14m a year and would "enable more renewable generation to be connected to the electricity network, helping to reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuels".

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