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  • The Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte T.D. has announced that he is establishing an expert panel chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice Catherine McGuinness to oversee the preparation of reports on the best underground route options to compare with the Grid Link and Grid West high voltage power lines currently being designed.

    The expert panel will be tasked with deciding terms of reference for comprehensive, route-specific studies of fully undergrounded options for both Grid Link and Grid West. The panel will be required to ensure that the studies are complete, objective, and comparable to similar studies of overhead options for the two projects, and will report to the Minister in that regard. Both the overhead and underground options will be published side-by-side, in objective and comparable terms, before proceeding to the next stage of public consultation.
    The other members of the group appointed by the Minister are economists John FitzGerald and Colm McCarthy, Engineering Professor Keith Bell, University of Strathclyde and Dr. Karen Foley, Head of School of Landscape Architecture, UCD.

    It is of particular note that there is no planning expertise on the ‘expert board’ which seems very surprising.

    It is also of note that the north-south connector project is excluded from the review on the basis that it is too far advanced.

    It is understood that this will delay a planning application by approximately 18 months. Whilst many believe this is simply a delay tactic to get over the local elections it remains to be seen whether it will end up simply being lip service or prove to be a ‘game changer’ in terms of how electricity is transported in this country.

    Published on January 29, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: , ,
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