Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (129)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

129. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will direct EirGrid to implement smart grid technology in County Mayo until such time as the 400 kV line planned for is in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9952/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

EirGrid’s Grid25 programme is a strategy designed to develop the transmission networks in order to ensure safe, secure and affordable electricity supplies throughout Ireland supporting economic growth, renewable and sustainable energy. The Government endorses this major investment programme currently underway in the high voltage electricity transmission system. Grid25 is the most important investment in Ireland’s transmission system for several generations and will position our energy system for decades to come.

The Smart Grid is a key enabler of a future low carbon electricity system that facilitates demand side efficiency, increases the share of renewable and distributed generation and enables consumer participation. EirGid’s Smart Grid programme is a series of projects to upgrade the current electricity system while continuing to operate and maintain a safe, secure and reliable system. EirGrid is also involved in the Smart Grid Innovation Hub which is a collaborative initiative between the EirGrid Group and the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) to promote the development of innovative Smart Grid solutions. EirGrid and SONI (System Operator Northern Ireland) support a number of demonstration projects in the Smart Grid sector in order to encourage the development of a Smarter Grid in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

I understand that EirGrid would be happy to offer the Deputy a briefing in relation to the overall Grid25 strategy, including the GridWest project in County Mayo. This briefing would also include information on the deployment of Smart Grid technologies that will help system operators use grid infrastructure more efficiently.