The Grid West project team said they had a “very positive” response and learned a lot about the local area from their consultation in Carrick-on-Shannon last Thursday, August 31.
The second round of consultation focused on presenting and consulting on the information gathered to date on the project study area, which includes the Flagford substation in Roscommon, all of Carrick-on-Shannon and areas starting south of Dromahair, encompassing Drumkeerin and Drumshanbo and another including Ballinamore, Keshcarrigan, Mohill and Rooskey.
The consultation saw local politicians, business people and the general public providing important local information and feedback on the project.
The project for the proposed Grid West electricity development will deliver “21st Century energy to the West of Ireland.” Eirgrid want to construct 400kv overhead lines, which will carry renewable energy through two high capacity power lines from Bellacorick, Co Mayo to both Cashla in Galway and Flagford in Roscommon. The project will also require the construction and maintenance of more wind farms along the Mayo Coast.
The North West Region in Grid25 has the largest (35%) expected regional distribution of the renewable generation capacity of Ireland. Graham Parker, Senior Project Manager told the paper that “people understand the importance of connecting the west.” He said many know that this line is needed to attract large companies and to develop existing businesses.
The Grid West project team recently completed a comprehensive constraints report which identified eight key points of note which will play a part in the identification of option corridor routes which should be available for public feedback in March 2013
The event in the Landmark Hotel showcased a number of maps displaying the constraints of the area. Some of the contraints included conservation and heritage designated areas and sites of ecological interest. The team said they will try to avoid any areas of conservation unless necessary.
Landscape constraints include World Heritage Sites and scenic views, sensitive landscapes and recreation routes, including walking trails. In addition, it is also recommended to reduce the potential for unfavourable construction conditions in areas of steep topography.
The report recommends that large lakes are avoided, where possible, and that floodplains in the vicinity of rivers are avoided. Major rivers may be also be a physical constraint. The team found the study area to be rich in cultural heritage with varied archaeological and historical past, with multi period monuments, ranging from humble sites of local interest, to large complexes of international significance.
There were 20,000 archeological records found in the study area. All of the features have varying degrees of statutory protection but the primary principle should be their preservation in situ.
Areas of high population will be a constraint to the development but the vicinity of Flagford/ Carrick-on-Shannon has been found to have low population density. One-off housing may present significant difficulties for the eventual delineation of any route corridors. Utilities and infrastructure has been mapped out as well as future developments locally.
Assuming no delays in the planning or consultation processes, the Grid West project is expected to be completed by late 2019.
The consultations have been seeking local information and views on the important development.
To receive more information on your area or to provide some information or feedback on the project visit Eirgrid, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 1890 94 0802 or visit the Information Centre at Linehall St, Castlebar. For Text updates text gridwest to 51444.