Belfast Telegraph

NIE's £500m investment will overhaul its network

By Lisa Smyth

NIE has plans to spend more than £500m over the next seven years on maintenance and upgrades to its network.

Northern Ireland's electricity network has released its proposed business plan for the period between October 2017 and March 2024.

The document provides a breakdown of the proposed expenditure, with £60m earmarked to ensure NIE complies with new safety legislation already in place in Great Britain.

The work will help NIE to reduce the risk from interference, vandalism or unauthorised access to the network, it says.

"NIE Networks' core value is safety and we will relentlessly target improvements in our overall health and safety performance," NIE added.

"Our objective is to identify and minimise the risks posed by the electricity network to the general public, employees and contractors."

In total, the firm has also said that it wants to spend £277m to replace assets that are no longer fit for purpose.

The plan will address the congestion problem on the 33kV network.

NIE is also proposing to spend £53m to reinforce network capacity in heavily stressed parts in order to meet the growth in housing and business development.

This includes the cost of developing solutions to manage the increasing level of renewables connections and the uptake of low carbon technologies (LCTs) such as solar panels, heat pumps, electric vehicles and wind generation.

Belfast Telegraph