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Decision on North-South Interconnector imminent

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The Interconnector is intended to improve security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland

The Interconnector is intended to improve security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland

The Interconnector is intended to improve security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland

A recommendation is to be given to the Infrastructure Minister "as soon as possible" on whether to permit the controversial North-South Interconnector, the department has said.

Officials are due to give their take on whether the Northern Ireland section of the controversial infrastructure stretching from Tyrone and Armagh to Co Meath should go ahead.

The Republic's planning authorities have already given the green light to the remainder.

The Interconnector is intended to improve security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland and is being planned by the System Operator for Northern Ireland (SONI) and EirGrid in the Republic.

The department said yesterday: "Officials continue to progress this application as promptly as possible.

"A further letter of representation was submitted which needed to be sent to consultees for comment.

"All responses are now back and it is hoped to have a recommendation with the minister for her consideration as soon as possible."

At the start of June, the department said a recommendation would be made "in the coming weeks".

The update comes as SONI published a paper on combating the climate crisis. Tomorrow's Energy Scenarios Northern Ireland 2020 highlights possible responses to climate change. And under the most ambitious scenario, in which NI achieves net zero emissions in advance of 2050, new petrol and diesel cars are banned by 2032, 80% of electricity comes from renewables by 2030 and most homes have Solar PV rooftops and are selling back to the grid.

Belfast Telegraph