Eirgrid revisiting plans for high-voltage cables along Youghal-Midleton greenway

Eirgrid revisiting plans for high-voltage cables along Youghal-Midleton greenway

Route chosen for the Celtic Interconnector. Picture: EirGrid

EirGrid is revisiting plans to lay high-voltage/fibre-optic cable along the Midleton-Youghal 'greenway' as part of a €1bn project to provide energy and communications links with mainland Europe.

The company initially looked at laying the cables along the side of the former railway line, now in the process of being converted to a €10m greenway.

However, it then decided to lay the cables alongside the verges of the N25 from Youghal all the way to the former 'Amgen site' close to Carrigtwohill. There they will feed into a special electrical converter station built to turn French DC electricity (direct current) into AC (alternating current) for use here.

The electricity will be sent here via a submarine cable from Brittany, France. The cable will make landfall in Youghal and will be connected to the national grid at Knockraha as part of what's called the 'Celtic Interconnector' project.

The Irish Examiner understands EirGrid made the decision to revisit the proposed cable laying route because plans are in place to upgrade the N25 between Carrigtwohill and Midleton and this could complicate its project.

Other potential routes

The decision to revisit other potential routes emerged at a recent online meeting senior EirGrid officials held with residents living in the Churchtown area, east of Midleton, where cable-laying was supposed to take place.

Up to now, the entire N25 verge was to be used to lay cable between Youghal and Carrigtwohill, except for diversions around the villages of Castlemartyr and Killeagh.

It gets more complicated, however, when it comes off the N25 at Carrigtwohill and has to follow a line alongside, or extremely close to, narrow rural roads between Carrigtwohill and Knockraha.

Road closures

This will necessitate road closures and some disruption, which is a cause of concern to locals.

EirGrid spokesman David Martin said: “The underground route for the electricity cable comes off the N25 at Churchtown, traveling north and then west, by-passing Midleton on its way to the proposed converter station site at Ballyadam, Carrigtwohill. At the meeting, the EirGrid representatives agreed that it would conduct a review of the route options for the section of the cable in the Churchtown area."

He added EirGrid would publish these findings of the review shortly.

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