The CEO of EirGrid says it is possible to underground the North-South Interconnector but to do so would not be prudent.
Mark Foley made the comments before the Oireachtas Energy Committee yesterday after he was asked why other interconnector projects were being placed underground.
Local TD Matt Carthy cited the Kildare-Meath and Roscommon-Mayo projects, both of which will use underground cables.
Mark Foley admitted the North-South project could be put underground but to do so would place risk on the viability of the network.
He described it as a key part of the island's "central nervous system" and any failure would lead to energy supply issues:
Mark Foley also said EirGrid is pressing ahead with plans for the construction of the interconnector.
Court proceedings in Northern Ireland are expected to take place in June but he said the organisation is progressing as if the project will be granted approval.
It already has full approval in the republic.