SONI provides Further Environmental Information on the North South Interconnector project

24 July 2019

  • SONI has submitted Further Environmental Information for the North South Interconnector planning application to the Department for Infrastructure
  • North South Interconnector remains the most important infrastructure project for Northern Ireland
  • Updated environmental information concludes no change to environmental impact since project was approved by DFI in 2018
  • Submission marks key milestone in the project’s progression 

SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) has today submitted updated environmental information on the proposed North South Interconnector project to the Department for Infrastructure.

In January 2018, following an extensive planning process, the Department for Infrastructure granted planning approval for the North South Interconnector. 

In the absence of the Stormont Executive, the project was approved by a senior civil servant. However, a legal challenge to a separate project resulted in the courts finding that major applications should only have been decided by a Minister.

The ‘Further Environmental Information 2019 addendum’ document has been provided to the Department for Infrastructure as part of the planning process for the project.

SONI has presented a number of detailed technical environmental assessments in the Addendum which were undertaken in 2019. 

These deal with issues such as ecology, the local landscape, the local community, transport and socio-economic impacts.

The report, which will now be considered by DfI, has concluded that there is no change to the environmental information previously submitted by SONI.

Speaking after the submission of the information, Jo Aston, Managing Director at SONI said:

“Our team remains committed to seeing this project, so important to Northern Ireland, become a reality.  We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure the information provided in this assessment is robust. 

“We are hopeful the submission of this further information, will enable the Department for Infrastructure to work towards a planning decision in the coming months.

“The North South Interconnector remains the most important infrastructure project for Northern Ireland.  When delivered, it will support decarbonisation, reduce the cost of wholesale electricity and will help Northern Ireland achieve a secure supply of electricity.

“All of this is will be of real benefit to electricity consumers – which is why the project needs to progress.”