Eirgrid ditches Cork to Kildare overhead power line plan

Eirgrid has confirmed that the proposed overhead power line from Cork to Kildare will not go ahead.

An independent panel earlier said that the company is more likely to use a 'Regional Model'.

This would involve the strengthening of the existing infrastructure.

The Grid Link programme has been the subject of intense public scrutiny in recent years over environmental and health fears.

EirGrid welcomed the independent expert panel's review saying new "innovative technology" will be utilised to meet demand.

Their statement said: "EirGrid confirms Grid Link project-a proposed overhead 400 kV line from Cork to Kildare will not now proceed.

"The EirGrid report to the Panel set out an analysis of alternative options to meet the need of the Grid Link project. The report considered both overhead and underground solutions in respect of environmental, technological and economic criteria.

"In addition to this, EirGrid set out a new and innovative technical solution, referred to as the 'Regional Option', based on technology which is capable of strengthening the existing grid infrastructure in the region. This meets the needs of the project without building new large scale overhead infrastructure."

Eirgrid had published its 'regional option' alternative in March, where it set out three "strategic pillars" for developing the grid.

These were open engagement with communities, making the most of new technologies and a commitment to make the existing grid work harder before building new transmission infrastructure.

Their statement continued: "The Regional Option uses a technology known as 'series compensation'. This would be the first time it will be deployed on the Irish transmission grid.

"It is an advanced, smart grid technology that will enable more power to flow through existing lines, and so does not require new 400 kV overhead lines. To complete this solution, an underwater cable across the Shannon estuary is required in addition to some upgrade works to existing transmission lines."

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