D47 Eirgrid

Dear Sir/Madam,
It is noted that submissions or observations with respect to the Draft Kilkenny County Development Plan 2014-2020, are currently being invited from interested parties. EirGrid is grateful for the opportunity to outline future developments within the county which can be incorporated into the future Development Plan.
The national electricity transmission grid plays a vital role in the supply of electricity, providing the means to transport power across a meshed network, from generator locations to demand centres. The Irish network is currently primarily connected to the transmission system of Northern Ireland by means of one 275 kV double circuit interconnection between Louth and Tandragee substations. There are also two 110 kV connections to the Northern Ireland network, from Letterkenny in Co. Donegal and Corraclassy in Co. Cavan.
The 400 kV network provides a high capacity link between Moneypoint generation station on the west coast and the Greater Dublin Area on the east. The 220 kV network forms a number of single circuit loops around the country. The 110 kV network, which is the most extensive element of the overall transmission system, extends across the country. The transmission system is almost entirely constructed as overhead line (OHL), except in very limited circumstances, such as congested or built-up areas, where underground cables (UGC) may be used.
Some 58% of current demand for electricity is in gateway cities and towns, as identified in the National Spatial Strategy (NSS). The NSS defines gateways as having a strategic location, nationally and relative to their surrounding areas and providing national-scale social and economic infrastructure and support services. The Grid25 strategy endorses the NSS goal of developing gateways and achieving balanced regional development.
This region has good wind resources. There is at present a 220 kV network passing through the region providing high-capacity supply to the region and an underlying 110 kV network throughout.
There are existing large-scale generation facilities with fuel-handling capabilities at Great Island station. The main Cork to Dublin gas transmission network passes through the region. There is a possibility of connecting the Great Island Facility and other potential generation sites to the gas transmission network in the future.
Grid25 states that general longer-term forecasted demand growth in the South-East Region (which includes Kilkenny) will result in the requirement to upgrade the existing network, and to build new transmission lines. This includes: An additional investment of approximately €830 m will be required to upgrade approximately 490 km of the existing network and to build new infrastructure; Strengthening of the 220 kV links to both Dublin and Cork to facilitate increased power flows; Strengthening the networks supplying the major cities and towns in the regions; Reinforcement of current infrastructure, including uprating 110 kV and 220 kV circuits, while maximising the use of the existing corridors where possible.
EirGrid’s Transmission Development Plan 2012 describes EirGrid’s development planning process. It discusses the drivers and assumptions underlying the plan, and outlines EirGrid’s plans for transmission network development over the next ten years (including projects under construction) and indicates where further potential development is likely to be required.
The latest version of EirGrid’s Transmission Development Plan is available to download at http://www.eirgrid.com/aboutus/publications/
EirGrid has recently published ‘Transmission Forecast Statement 2012-2018 Version 2.0’ which can be downloaded from:
The Transmission Forecast Statement 2012-2018 Version 2.0 includes a comprehensive set of maps, diagrams and data describing the technical and topological characteristics of the existing high voltage power system and describes how the power system will be developed over the seven year period covered by the statement.
The existing transmission infrastructure in Co. Kilkenny is shown in Map 1 below.
Map 1: Existing Transmission Infrastructure in Co. Kilkenny
The Transmission projects detailed in Section 5 of our previous submission dated 24/08/2012 are still relevant and are being progressed.
As a key infrastructure stakeholder, EirGrid believes that it is imperative that the County Development Plan (CDP) should support the provision for new High Voltage electrical infrastructure, including high voltage transformer stations and new overhead transmission power lines. Such infrastructure will be required for reinforcement of the transmission network, related to growing electricity demand from existing customers, as well as connection of new generation and large demand customers (i.e. industry). Some requirements are likely to arise at short notice in line with the time-scale for development of industry or generation stations.
Section 9.3.1 (Infrastructure and Environment Section) of the Draft County Development Plan is noted and endorsed. The reference in this Section to Laois-Kilkenny Reinforcement Project and Grid Link is very supportive. However, it is a felt that a specific policy acknowledging the importance of developing the Transmission system, should be included in this Section, suggested policy wording as follows:
‘To recognise the development of secure and reliable electricity transmission infrastructure as a key factor for supporting economic development and attracting investment to the area and to support the infrastructural renewal and development of electricity networks in the county.’
I would welcome an opportunity to discuss these or any other points in relation to the Draft County Development Plan that pertain to the electricity transmission system, in advance of publication of the adopted County Development Plan .
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