Written answers

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

North-South Interconnector

Photo of Pauline TullyPauline Tully (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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141. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a reply will issue to the elected members of Monaghan County Council regarding their letter (details supplied) in relation to the route and undergrounding of the north south interconnector. [5825/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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Responsibility for the regulation of the electricity market is a matter for the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) which is an independent regulator, accountable to a committee of the Oireachtas and not myself as Minister.

The CRU was assigned responsibility for the regulation of the Irish electricity sector following the enactment of the Electricity Regulation Act, 1999 and subsequent legislation. The CRU is responsible for, inter alia, the economic regulation of the electricity system operators ESB Networks, distribution, and Eirgrid, transmission.

The cost of building, safely operating and maintaining the electricity system is recovered by system operators through charges on customers, all of which is overseen and agreed with the CRU. System operator spending is agreed with the CRU in five-year cycles, referred to as Price Reviews.

The North South Interconnector is a Transmission project and is being undertaken by EirGrid. The Government does not have any role in the delivery of electricity infrastructure on the ground.

This is consistent with the 2012 Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure which states: ‘The Government does not seek to direct EirGrid and ESB Networks or other energy infrastructure developers to particular sites or routes or technologies’. It is for system operators to determine the means of delivery of infrastructure and in doing so they seek to work in close collaboration with landowners and stakeholders.

Eirgrid have been and will continue to engage with the local communities affected by the development of the North South Interconnector. Eirgrid are independent of myself as Minister in the exercise of their functions as Transmission System Operators, and they are the appropriate entity to engage with affected communities.

The CRU and Eirgrid have dedicated contact email address for Oireachtas member should they wish to raise matters of concern such as that raised in these questions. In this instance Deputies may wish to engage directly with EirGrid as the system operator undertaking the project.


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