Commenting on the announcement by EirGrid that it intends to upgrade its network infrastructure, IFA National Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston said the upgrade was important to the economy.
“The upgrade and development of the electricity network is important to ensure the improved competitiveness of the national economy and the development of renewable energy in Ireland.”
However Mr Kingston added that the development would cause disturbance to farmers and he said that previous lessons must be learned.
“The planned grid development by EirGrid will cause significant disturbance for the many farmers along the route in the counties affected. It is essential that lessons are learned from the recent problems in the Midlands. Particular attention must be paid to the concerns of farmers at route selection stage and all options in the planning phase must be considered.”
IFA will meet with EirGrid in the coming days to emphasise the importance of extensive consultation to minimise the impact of the disruption associated with the project, and to ensure the network facilitates the development of renewable energy projects across the country.