North-South power link to be studied
Jul. 25, 2011 - irishtimes.com
|Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte with Owen Lewis, chief executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, at the announcement that Ireland has received a Star of Energy Efficiency Award for improving the energy performance of Irish homes.Photograph: Maxwells
MINISTER FOR Energy Pat Rabbitte has appointed
three international experts to a commission to examine
whether there is a case for building all or part
of the North-South high voltage electricity interconnector
underground, and the cost involved in such a project.
Bo Normark, president of Swedish firm Power Circle,
has been appointed chairman of the commission and
Odd-Håkon Hoelsæter, former chief executive
of Norwegian electricity grid company Statnett, and
Ronnie Elmans, a Belgian electric power professor,
have been appointed members.
They must submit a report within six months on the
case for and the cost of running power lines
underground between Meath and Tyrone along
all or part of the
400kV line. The report is expected to be submitted
in the autumn.
Proponents of the interconnector say it is needed
to improve competition in the electricity market
and the security of supply.
The commission was established following the collapse
last June of the planning process for the interconnector
which was estimated to cost €280 million.
An error in the original application for the line
through Meath, Cavan and Monaghan forced the State’s
electricity network operator Eirgrid to withdraw
the application during a Bord Pleanála hearing
into the issue.
A review found incorrect information was supplied
by ESB International.
The commission will consider the routes proposed