SONI set to bolster power supply in Carrickfergus and greater Newtownabbey areas

1 March 2024

SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) is the Electricity Transmission System Operator for Northern Ireland. From our control centre in Belfast, we manage the electricity grid to ensure that power can flow safely, securely and reliably from where it is generated to where it is needed. 

In addition to managing the Grid in real time, our expert engineers are responsible for planning ahead to ensure our energy infrastructure meets the needs of the future. We are working to upgrade our power system to support the delivery of the NI Energy Strategy, all while ensuring the security of supply for homes, businesses, and farms across Northern Ireland in the present. 

The overhead power line from Eden (near Carrickfergus) to Carnmoney is now over 80 years’ old. Substantial housing development has taken place in the years since the overhead line was originally built, meaning it is no longer feasible to refurbish the entirety of the overhead line. SONI plans to refurbish parts of this overhead line and underground cabling will enable other parts of the overhead line to be de-energised and in time be removed altogether. This project is known as Eden-Carnmoney; the delivery of this project will bolster security of supply in the Carrickfergus and the greater Newtownabbey areas for years to come. 

Before we develop or add to the grid, we work with those who may be affected by our plans. We want to engage with local communities at every step of the process. To date we have met with elected representatives and local planning officials, and we look forward to facilitating public engagement events in Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey in March. These events provide us with an opportunity to talk to the local community about the project and listen to their views which help us to further refine our plans.  

Eimear Watson, Head of Networks NI (SONI), commented: 

“At SONI we are focused on investing in and improving the transmission grid, so that everyone has access to the power they need, when they need it. The Eden-Carnmoney reinforcement project is a major part of our improvement and investment works and we are pleased to be bringing forward our proposals for the local community, businesses, and key stakeholders to have their say.  

“Collaboration is key to the process and through this stage of consultation we want to provide the local community with as much information as possible for them to submit feedback on these proposals before the consultation closes on Friday 10th May at 17:00.” 

For more information, email or call 028 9070 7561 

Our consultation portal website at opens on Wednesday 28 February 2024 and will close on Friday 10 May 2024, 17:00. The details of the public consultation events are as follows: 

  • 13th March, Mossley Mill, Yarn Suite, 19 Carnmoney Road North, Newtownabbey BT36 5NL, 14:00 – 19:00 
  • 14th March, Carrick Town Hall, 2B Joymount, Carrickfergus BT38 7DN, 14:00 – 19:00