The North South Interconnector is to proceed as planned with a 400 kV overhead line across counties Cavan, Monaghan, Armagh, Meath and Tyrone. That's according to Eirgrid which told Northern Sound that a judgement on a review of the matter has ruled that the project should proceed as planned.
The company says the connector is "critical" for the security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland; will support social and economic growth in the Northeast region; and enable Ireland to reach its renewable energy targets.
Full planning permission for the project has been granted in both the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. Eirgrid says there will be "full engagement" with landowners, local communities and stakeholders along the route.
Meanwhile, in 2018, an International Expert Commission examined the technical feasibility and cost of undergrounding the interconnector. Its findings supported EirGrid's approach to the project, confirming that an overhead line is the best technical solution and the most cost efficient for consumers.
"The interconnector will underpin the efficient operation of the all-island electricity market, fixing a bottleneck that costs millions of euro every year and applying downward pressure on electricity prices.
"In 2012, an earlier independent report into the project was published by a Government-appointed International Expert Commission. Today's finding are an update to the 2012 and 2018 reports and examined possible changes in technology and costs which have taken place in the intervening years," an Eirgrid spokesperson added.