EirGrid has welcomed the decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant approval for the Laois-Kilkenny Reinforcement Project.
The State -owned company says development will allow it to reinforce the electricity transmission network in the Midlands and South Eastern region for future generations. In the course of examining options for this project, EirGrid says it carried out extensive technical and environmental analysis and reviewed international practice and experience.
The company says its project comprises:
• A 400/110kV substation situated to the south east of Portlaoise, near Timahoe
• A 110/38kV substation adjacent to the existing substation at Ballyragget, county Kilkenny
• A 110kV circuit between the two substations
• An upgrade of the Ballyragget - Kilkenny overhead line
EirGrid says it will be working with ESB Networks to further develop this “important project with construction due to commence in late 2015 or early 2016”.
It says minimising the amount of new build by utilising existing lines to the greatest extent possible is a feature of this project and will result in the “least possible environmental impact to the region”. It says a key component of the new line is the substation, located to the south east of Portlaoise, near Timahoe.Both the existing 400kV and 110kV overhead lines that intersect in the area near Money Cross roads will connect into the ne substation.
Both lines have been in use since the 1980s.
As a result of this connection, the substation will “act as strong meshed node on the transmission system” with the entire region benefitting from an injection of higher quality 400kV voltage.
EirGrid submitted a planning application to An Bord Pleanála in 2013. A public oral hearing followed.