Consultations by Eirgrid have begun to bring 21st century energy infrastructure to Carrick-on-Shannon.
The West of Ireland project was launched by EirGrid at the National Museum of Ireland, Castlebar by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny last Friday, May 4.
The impact of these high voltage power lines have been debated for a few years around the country.
The contentious lines were debated in the Dáil this year, Deputy Claire Daly claimed that there was “very serious potential health effects for residents, especially children” from the project. Anti pylon groups in Cavan, Monaghan and Meath have previously held major protests and campaigns against the new overhead power lines.
According to Grid West project the new energy system will initially consist of a new high capacity power line linking Bellacorick in Co Mayo to a strong point on the transmission grid. Based on the region’s huge renewable potential it is envisaged that, in time, the project will involve two high capacity power lines from Bellacorick, to both Cashla in Galway and Flagford in Roscommon, taking in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Ireland’s renewable energy target is to meet 40% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020 – these include wind, wave and tidal energy.
A planning application under the Strategic Infrastructure Act is expected for submission to An Bord Pleanála in 2015. Speaking at the launch, Taoiseach Kenny said, “As Ireland fights to regain economic sovereignty and put ourselves back on a path to recovery and growth, it is essential that we maximise the use of our indigenous resources, whether it is our people, our land or our natural resources. This infrastructure will also assist the region to attract inward investment that requires a strong reliable source of power.”
The public consultation now begins and An Taoiseach encouraged people across the region “to engage with the project team and provide feedback to EirGrid.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.