Belfast Telegraph

NIE plan for cable link to Republic

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) has submitted a planning application for its section of a new cross-border electricity transmission cable between Co Tyone and Co Cavan.

The application is for a substation near Moy in Co Tyrone and 34 kilometres of overhead transmission line to a crossing point on the Armagh/Monaghan border.

The proposed development represents the Northern Ireland section of the Tyrone/Cavan Interconnector, a cross-border electricity infrastructure that has been jointly developed by NIE and EirGrid in the Republic.

A spokesman for NIE said: “We have been developing this project since 2004 when the Regulatory Authorities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland identified the construction of a second interconnector as key in meeting strategic energy needs and in |developing a more efficient all-island electricity market.

“After extensive consultation and expert independent studies an overhead line route has been selected and an application submitted to DOE Planning Service.

“The new interconnector will help meet Government’s challenging renewable energy targets in the future and will bring greater security of supply and economic benefits for all electricity consumers, North and South.”

The project has drawn criticism from residents’ pressure group SEAT (Safe Electricity for Armagh and Tyrone) which has called for the high voltage connector cables to be buried underground rather than running overhead on pylons, claiming they could cause health problems for children. NIE said all health and environmental issues have been addressed and that putting cables underground would be much more expensive.

The power companies hope the connector will allow the all-|island wholesale electricity to work more efficiently and enable more competition between power generators and suppliers. A formal consultation process on the project will begin this month.

Belfast Telegraph