Putting interconnector underground not possible, says Eirgrid

Regina Doherty says project should try to follow model of Alegro electricity line

Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty: says Alegro underground electricity line between Belgium and Germany represents best international practice

Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty: says Alegro underground electricity line between Belgium and Germany represents best international practice

 

Eirgrid has said its North-South electricity interconnector project cannot be put underground in its entirety, contrary to some assertions.

The operator of the State’s electricity welcomed news of an independent review of the 140km line which will carry power on overhead wires from Batterstown, Co Meath to Turleenan, Co Tyrone once it is complete.

Meath East Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty on Friday said the interconnector should try to follow the model of the Alegro underground electricity line between Belgium and Germany. She told LMFM this represented best international practice.

The interconnector was granted planning permission to use overhead wires for the portion that runs in the Republic last December, although this is now subject to a legal challenge seeking a judicial review of the decision.

Eirgrid spokesman David Martin said underground lines were fundamentally incompatible for a project of this type.

“It’s just not feasible for the North-South interconnector,” he said, noting a letter from Siemens, the firm behind the Alegro line, to the North East Pylon Pressure campaign group which stated that the two projects were not comparable.

The letter signed by Siemens chief executive Gary O’Callaghan explained that the direct current (DC) cables used for Alegro are not suitable for long-distance electricity transfer in the middle of Ireland’s grid, which uses alternating current (AC).