REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive
and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 377

Revolt news 11/2/2014 Print (pdf) Version

1. Powerlines issues are politically hot in Ireland in the run up to elections in May. Eirgird has a number of overhead 400kV line proposals in the pipeline, including the notorious North-South Interconnector from Woodland (just north of Dublin) to County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. It’s also known as the Meath-Tyrone 400 kV Interconnector. I’m going to call it NSIC, to mimic the perpendicular EWIC from Dublin to Wales (news375.3-4).

2. The Irish government is presently commissioning a new study on the feasibility and costs of undergrounding, specifically for new HV powerline proposals. There have been several such studies in Ireland and the UK in recent years. Relating to NSIC, the Irish government commissioned the Ecofys study of 2008, to which objectors replied with the 2008 Askon study. Eirgrid and NIE commissioned the 2009 PB-Power study (12MB) and its 2013 Update. A government International Expert Commission (IEC) reviewed the studies to date in 2011 and reported in 2012 (13MB), concluding that the best underground solution for NSIC would be VSC HVDC with XLPE cables.

3. Public group NEPP objected to the omission of NSIC from the new study of under-grounding for current projects. Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte refused to include it. He was then over-ruled by Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week, so it will now be included, with the result of delaying consideration of NSIC until after the May elections.

4. The new study will also include the other major projects Grid Link and Grid West, which are not as far advanced as NSIC. They are part of the Grid25 plan to develop the network across Ireland, by “building 800km of new power lines and upgrading 2,000 km of existing lines which will double the size of today’s electricity Grid”.

5. Eirgrid first applied for the NSIC in 2009. An oral hearing was held in May 2010, which exposed such blunders that the application was withdrawn in June 2010. A new planning application is expected in 2014, following consultation processes in 2013.

6. A separate application was made in 2009 by NIE for the section of NSIC in Northern Ireland, and a similar farce ensued, resulting in the NIE application being suspended (news370.4 etc.). Resubmission is expected in 2014. While it is formally the same planning application, it is expected to be amended with a new environmental statement. Various addenda are on the government planning website, where its status is (at 11 Feb) “consultations have been issued”, after consultations in 2013.

7. Northern Ireland group SEAT website has changed to SEAT has circulated numerous press reports following the fast changing events for NSIC which can be seen here.

8. Professor Denis Henshaw of Bristol University gave a presentation (8MB) in Trim, Co Meath last night 10-02-2014 on the “Scientific basis of the health effects of electric and magnetic fields associated with the electricity supply” at a meeting organised by Marian Harkin MEP. The meeting discussed the two questions “Do Pylons damage your health?” and “Is it feasible to underground cables?”. Professor Henshaw has a uniquely encyclopaedic expertise in the range of science related to magnetic field effects across plant and animal species and humans. His presentation will also be available at his new website

Statements made by the editor or by other parties and quoted for information do not necessarily represent the views of Revolt. Criticism of government and industry, and grievances from members of the public, are in the nature of Revolt's work, though we try to give credit where it is due. Revolt is strictly non-party-political and regrets any offence which may be inadvertently caused.




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