Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (43)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

43. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the findings of two independent studies in relation to the North-South interconnector project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40942/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I commissioned two independent reports dealing with the North-South Interconnector (NSIC) following engagement with members of the Oireachtas and community interests. These were considered by Government last week and are available on my Department's website. One considers the technical feasibility and cost of undergrounding the NSIC, while the second addresses comparative international practice and approaches to compensation of property owners in proximity to high-voltage lines.

On the technical feasibility and cost of undergrounding, the report concludes that from a techno-economic point of view, an Alternating Current Overhead Line is the most beneficial way of meeting the need for enhanced power transfer capability between Ireland and Northern Ireland. An overhead line provides the opportunity for investment along the route of the line and offers a far more balanced electricity network across this country and across this island.

On the report into the comparative international practice in relation to compensation, that report indicates that Ireland has a comparatively generous compensation regime in place.

In addition to publishing the reports on my Department's website, I have forwarded copies of the two Reports to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment.