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Eirgrid offers landowners around €100,000 each in high volt pylon plan

National grid company deals include €50,000 for each pylon landowner allows and compensation for overhead lines

National grid operator EirGrid is offering landowners €50,000 for each pylon they allow on their land as it bids to complete a high-powered electricity line linking the Republic and the North.

The State company hopes to begin construction of the North-South interconnector, an electricity line running from Meath to Tyrone, shortly as the project, said to be vital to energy supplies, must be completed by 2026.

EirGrid this week wrote to landowners along the route in counties Meath, Cavan and Monaghan offering them €50,000 for each pylon built on their land, with the total bill approaching €20 million for the near 400 properties involved.

Sources calculate the final bill could be about €40 million as deals with farmers also include compensation for overhead lines, which could equal the pylon payments.


EirGrid would not comment on individual compensation deals but a sample offer shows a figure of €48,000 for 300 metres of power lines running over an individual property. That is €160 per metre. The €50,000 pylon payment and lawyers’ fees bring the total to €110,800.

The landowners involved are mostly farmers, many of whom took part in protests and legal challenges to the controversial project, which has been dogged by planning and other delays since it was first conceived in 2007.

EirGrid has previously offered €30,000 at most to farmers whose lands it has used, but those projects involved power lines carrying less electricity than the interconnector.

The grid company is also seeking a permanent right of way, called an “easement” by lawyers, on each property on the North-South route in return for the payment. This will grant it better access over time than the simple permission, or way leave, that it traditionally seeks to allow it put up poles or other structures.

EirGrid confirmed it wrote this week to the 400 landowners setting out what it was proposing for each of their properties and detailing the compensation offered.

Michael Mahon, its chief infrastructure officer, said 103km of the 138-km interconnector line would run through the three counties.

“As part of this voluntary option agreement process, a fair offer of compensation for an easement has now been issued directly to these landowners, and our team of agricultural liaison officers will be engaging directly with them in the coming weeks to answer any questions they may have,” he said.

EirGrid will also give proximity payments to those living within 200 metres of the proposed line and provide a €12 million “community benefit fund” for local groups and sports clubs on the route.

Mr Mahon stressed that the interconnector was a “strategic project” that would underpin security of electricity supplies and facilitate the development of renewable energy.

The State company says it will also boost electricity supplies to the northeast, paving the way for the region to attract more industry, and aid efforts to cut energy costs across the country.

The 400 kilovolt line will cost €835 million to build and will connect Woodland in Co Meath with Yurleenan in Co Tyrone.

EirGrid subsidiary, System Operator Northern Ireland, is responsible for the section north of the Border, and has reportedly secured deals with about half of the landowners on its section of the route.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas