Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (425)

Brendan Smith


425. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to Parliamentary Question No. 511 of 2 October 2018, when Eirgrid was given sight of the final reports relating to the North-South interconnector; the reason this information was not disclosed previously; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40967/18]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Eirgrid is a commercial State company which holds the licence, from the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, as transmission system operator (TSO) in Ireland, in accordance with EU and Irish law. CRU issued the licence to Eirgrid under S.14(1)(e) of the Electricity Regulation Act 1999 on 20th June 2001. In this role as transmission system operator, EirGrid, as the national authority, is responsible for the operation, development and maintenance of Ireland’s electricity transmission system. Eirgrid’s role is to deliver connection, transmission, and market services to generators, suppliers and customers utilising the high voltage electricity system and to put in place the grid infrastructure to support the development of Ireland’s Economy. The International Expert Commission which conducted the technical study, that was published last week on the department’s website, met with a number of bodies, including the CRU and EirGrid, during the course of their work. In their capacities as the national regulator and the transmission system operator, the final reports relating to the North South Interconnector were provided to both bodies in May of this year after the reports were finalised in March and April, and in advance of the request to both organisations for reports on the implications for the electricity market in Ireland in the event of a hard "Brexit", including for the SEM, for timelines for the delivery of programmes such as DS3 and the NSIC and for continued secure cross-border electricity trading across interconnectors. It was only after this additional Brexit analysis was completed in September that I brought the two independent reports to Government prior to their publication last week.