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Studies into proposed pylon projects move a step closer

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The expert panel set up by Government to examine Eirgrid’s GridLink project has published its terms of reference.

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The GridLink project plans to bring overhead power lines from Cork to Wexford and onto Kildare on a series of pylons…two of the three possible routes pass through parts of South Tipperary at Cahir, Clerihan and Carrick on Suir.

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte appointed a panel of experts to examine several large projects across the country including Eirgrid’s GridLink and GridWest proposals.

In a statement today, the Panel says that it has met four times since the 10th of February and has now finalised and approved the Terms of Reference for comprehensive, route specific studies or reports of fully undergrounded and overhead options for each of the projects.

The proposal has come in for severe local criticism in Tipperary….two of the three possible routes outlined by Eirgrid for the pylons pass through parts of South Tipperary at Cahir, Clerihan and Carrick-on-Suir.

Over 35 thousand submissions on the GridLink project were made to Eirgrid as part of the public consultation process earlier this year.

As part of the Expert Panel’s investigations, it will consider potential environmental impacts, technical efficacy and cost factors.

Once the Panel has completed its study, it will then provide an opinion to the Minister on the projects. Eirgrid is also carrying out a study on the feasibility of undergrounding the GridLink project.

The expert panel is to review reports undertaken by Eirgrid into the undergrounding of cables and will provide an opinion to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte on the reports undertaken so far – before the company can go ahead with the public consultation phase of the project.

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