Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (44)

Paudie Coffey


44. Deputy Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the reason the 400 kV gridlink electricity infrastructural project by EirGrid is necessary; the justification for such a large investment by a semi-State body; its purpose, in view of the fact that there are existing HV networks in use servicing these areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45033/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Development of the high voltage electricity grid as planned in the Grid25 strategy is critical to Ireland's economic and social development. The businesses that sell goods and services and provide employment need a reliable energy supply that enables them to compete in an increasingly globalised economy. Ensuring secure reliable and safe supplies of electricity is critical to Ireland's ability to attract inward investment and retain and create jobs.

The Grid Link Project is a key initiative under Grid25. Without this project, the grid in the south and east of Ireland would not be sufficient to meet the region's future electricity needs. The project will facilitate both conventional generation and renewable energy projects. It will reinforce the grid in Leinster and Munster and support future interconnection with grids outside of Ireland. It is a significant upgrade of the electricity grid across the south and east and is the largest project under the Grid25 programme. The project will involve an estimated €500 million investment and will enable Ireland to meet its 40% renewable electricity target, while also reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Questions Nos. 45 and 46 answered with Question No. 27.