Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Electricity Transmission Network
149. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the categories under which compensation is provided to landowners where EirGrid brings power lines through their property; and the amount paid to a landowner for a timber pylon and a steel pylon. [32168/16]
EirGrid endeavours to ensure that Irish citizens have ongoing, secure access to electricity via a world class electricity infrastructure that supports Ireland’s continued economic development. Essentially, EirGrid develops, manages and operates the electricity transmission grid and this brings power from where it is generated to where it is needed throughout Ireland.
In working towards an ever more efficient, more effective and more economic electricity network, it is necessary to carry out grid refurbishment and enhancement on an ongoing basis. This can affect landowners, homeowners and communities near new transmission lines.
EirGrid is aware of the inconvenience and interruption not only on farm activity due to the construction of new pylons on a farm, but also the impact on communities who host the infrastructure. They also acknowledge that there are some restrictions on land use at the site of individual pylons.
Hence, in recognition of the potential impact of transmission infrastructure, EirGrid has a range of “compensation” payments in place. The categories are, flexibility of access, loss of development rights, loss of tree planting rights and impacts on farming. EirGrid also has a range of “proximity” and “community” payments in place. It is difficult to provide specific details because each case is assessed on its own merits and consequently compensation rates will vary. However, the flexibility of access category is of most relevance to the question. Payments vary, but for instance, in 2009 a provision was agreed for staged payments of €11,000 per double wood pole set and €22,000 per mast (steel lattice tower) in relation to the construction of a number of new 110kV overhead transmission lines.
EirGrid will be happy to provide more details via their Communications Department. I should also point out that ESB Networks also manage a system of annual payments for farmers where their normal farming practices are affected by the presence of masts on their lands.