EirGrid has confirmed the start and end points for the North Connacht Project, a new electricity line that will connect local renewable energy to the national grid and reinforce the regional electricity system.
A series of studies have concluded that the line should run between the electricity substations at Moy near Ballina in Co. Mayo, and Tonroe, near Ballaghaderreen, in Co. Roscommon.
EirGrid spokesperson Louise Glennon said: “This new line will provide significant electrical power required for the future development of the region, including Knock Airport Strategic Development Zone, supporting the attractiveness of the region as a place in which to live, work and invest.
According to a statement from the state-owned operator, the next step in the development of the project is to choose the appropriate technology and determine the most suitable route between the two substations. This phase will also establish whether the line will be overhead, underground, or a combination of both. There has previously been opposition to the use of overhead lines.
Meanwhile, Niall Frain from the ‘Ballaghaderreen Against Pylons’ group was critical of EirGrid’s approach to the development, claiming there was a lack of consultation with local groups.
“EirGrid haven’t touched base with any of the local groups here. The announcement (of the new power line) went out late on Friday evening. These are typical tactics so it doesn’t surprise me,” he said.
The next phase of the plan is expected to take up to a year following studies to determine the best route for the line.