Grid West

The Grid West project is a significant addition to the electricity grid. We developed this in response to growing plans in the North West for renewable energy generation. 

July 2015

EirGrid has announced details of underground and overhead options for the Grid West project. We have published these options in our report to the Government-appointed Independent Expert Panel.

Earlier this year, this Panel confirmed to the Minister for Energy that our report is complete and neutral.

This report details technical, environmental and economic facts about the three options for the Grid West project:

  • a fully underground direct current cable;
  • a 400 kV overhead line and;
  • a 220 kV overhead line with partial use of underground cable

In the autumn, EirGrid will consult with the public on these three options.

To read the report in full, please click here.

The full report is a detailed, technical document. With this in mind, we have developed a report summary, which is a synopsis of the findings of the main report. You can read this summary here.

Finally, our latest project update provides a summary of current status and next steps for this project. You can read it here.

April 2015

The Government-appointed Independent Expert Panel has now reviewed our report on the Grid West project. They have confirmed that our report is in line with their Terms of Reference. When published, this report will provide a comprehensive analysis of underground and overhead options. This will include an assessment of the environmental, technical and economic issues for each option.

EirGrid will now prepare this report for publication and public consultation. We will complete this work shortly and intend to publish the full report and accompanying appendices in the coming months.

March 2015

EirGrid has published Your Grid, Your Views, Your Tomorrow. This is our new draft of a strategy for the development of Ireland’s transmission grid. It is available at .

We are seeking public feedback on this strategy. Three key pillars shape this strategy:

  • Open engagement with communities;
  • Making the most of new technologies, and;
  • A commitment to make the existing grid work harder before building new transmission infrastructure.

This draft strategy supports Ireland’s energy, economic and social policy objectives. This includes the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and the IDA’s Regional Development Strategy.

Based on the new thinking in this draft strategy, we have developed some new options for certain projects, including Grid West. Our analysis confirmed that the west of Ireland needs a high-voltage transmission line. However, we have now identified a new solution to deliver the needs of this project. This third option is a 220kV overhead line with partial use of underground cable to the longest possible extent – up to 30km. This option is now put forward as an alternative to a direct current underground cable or a 400kV overhead line.

EirGrid has completed a report on the technical, environmental and economic analyses on each of these three options. We have sent our report to the Government-appointed Independent Expert Panel, who will now review our analysis. They will then provide an opinion to the Minister for Energy, Communications and Natural Resources. At that stage, we will publish the report and make it available for public consultation. We will update people with details of this consultation as soon as we complete our plans.

December 2014

In January, EirGrid committed to a comprehensive review of our public consultation process. This was in response to criticisms we received during our last public consultation on the Grid West Project.

We have now published this review. It includes two independent studies that we commissioned to assess our consultation process.

The review found that EirGrid’s approach to public consultation met European and international standards. However, it also sets out where we fell short of what people expected from us.

This review includes recommendations intended to enhance future public consultations. This includes the Grid West Project.

These recommendations include:

  • Regional Discussion Forums chaired by an independent third party
  • A Consultation Toolkit. This will enable communities to take part more effectively in public consultation
  • A Complaints Procedure, a new Consultation Handbook, and related training for EirGrid staff.

We are continuing to consider the overhead and underground options for Grid West to an equal and comparable level of detail. We will then submit these to the Government-appointed Independent Expert Panel later this month. They will ensure that we have assessed the overhead and underground options for the project in a fair, equal and transparent manner.

October 2014

We are currently developing and analysing underground and overhead options for the Grid West Project. When complete, we will present this analysis to the Government-appointed Independent Expert Panel. We have been listening to feedback about the project from individuals and communities. We will hold information clinics in the coming weeks so people can meet the project team and discuss the project in detail.