203. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the report on the costing to the undergrounding of the proposed EirGrid North-South interconnector will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53364/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 and 204 together. 
On 21 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May of 2016. 
Following the decision of An Bord Pleanála, I met with the local opposition groups and members of the...

204. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the concerns of communities in counties Cavan and Monaghan in relation to the north south interconnector particularly in relation to health, land devaluation, property devaluation, tourism and heritage; if this project will be placed underground; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53383/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 and 204 together. 
On 21 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May of 2016. 
Following the decision of An Bord Pleanála, I met with the local opposition groups and members of the...

239. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on correspondence from a local authority (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45522/17 asked on 26 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Monaghan County Council raised this matter  earlier in the year with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) who in turn raised it directly with me. I have informed the PAC that EirGrid is a commercial  State body charged with the implementation of Government energy policy and guarantee a secure supply of electricity via the development of the Irish electricity transmission system. This involves the maintenance, imp...

306. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the report will be published on the costing to the under grounding of the proposed EirGrid North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44666/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Following the motions calling for an updated independent study that were passed by Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann earlier this year, I have commissioned two independent studies designed to address the main points of the motions as well as key concerns expressed by parties opposed to the development of an overhead line.
The first is an independent study to examine the technical feasibility and cost of undergroun...

27. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the North-South interconnector project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41712/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Niamh Smyth: I ask the Minister the most up-to-date status of the North-South interconnector and to make a statement on the matter.
 ...

52. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the tendering process initiated by EirGrid to acquire 400 pylons for the North-South interconnector project before the independent expert group study has been completed. (Question 41886/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Niamh Smyth: I ask the Minister the most up-to-date status of the North-South interconnector and to make a statement on the matter.
 ...

53. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will direct EirGrid to cease the tendering process to acquire 400 pylons for the North-South interconnector project pending the outcome of the independent expert group’s study. (Question 41887/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Niamh Smyth: I ask the Minister the most up-to-date status of the North-South interconnector and to make a statement on the matter.
 ...

501. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will review correspondence (details supplied); his views on the concerns outlined by the group; the status of this project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41752/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 501 and 502 together.
The 2012 Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure states that - “The Government does not seek to direct EirGrid and ESB Networks or other energy infrastructure developers to particular sites or routes or technologies.” This also holds true for operational matters such as tender processes or proje...

502. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason a tender process for 400 pylons commenced by a company (details supplied) was not publicised in its Autumn 2017 leaflet on the north south interconnector, in view of the fact that under the PCI process all information regarding the status of the project must be made public on an ongoing basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41766/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 501 and 502 together.
The 2012 Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure states that - “The Government does not seek to direct EirGrid and ESB Networks or other energy infrastructure developers to particular sites or routes or technologies.” This also holds true for operational matters such as tender processes or proje...

1426. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has given further consideration to the concerns outlined by public representatives in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Meath in relation to the draft terms of reference for the independent study in relation to the proposed North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36861/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I have approved the appointment of independent experts to carry out this study and their work has commenced. The consultants are: Bo Normark (Chair), Prof. Ronnie Belmans and Prof. Keith Bell.  This Independent Expert Group is expected to deliver their final report by 31 January 2018. The terms of reference fulfil the central point of the motions that were passed in both Houses. That is to “examine the techni...

1287. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the North-South interconnector project; if he will address the concerns of persons in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Meath regarding this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35471/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning process for the section of the project in Northern Ireland is ...

70. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will redraft the terms of reference for the review of the north-south interconnector to reflect the wishes of persons in counties Cavan and Monaghan affected and groups (details supplied) as per the Fianna Fáil Dáil Éireann motion which was passed in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 29474/17 asked on 27 Jun 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): I ask the Minister and the Deputies to be brief with these questions.
 ...

100. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to address the fact that his Department’s terms of reference for the review of the north-south interconnector have been met with considerable opposition and disappointment from affected communities across counties Cavan, Monaghan and Meath. (Question 29882/17 asked on 27 Jun 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): I ask the Minister and the Deputies to be brief with these questions.
 ...

114. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position regarding the implementation of the provisions outlined in the Dáil Éireann motion on the north-south interconnector project. (Question 29480/17 asked on 27 Jun 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): I ask the Minister and the Deputies to be brief with these questions.
 ...

191. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will give urgent consideration to a request from a local authority (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 29381/17 asked on 22 Jun 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning process for the section of the project in Northern Ireland is ong...

1722. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will redraft the terms of reference for the North-South Interconnector to reflect the wishes of the persons in the areas of counties Cavan and Monaghan affected and two groups (details supplied) as per the Fianna Fáil Dáil Éireann motion which was passed in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27426/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning process for the section of the project in Northern Ireland is ong...

601. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will include the concerns of communities in counties Cavan and Monaghan in the terms of reference for the North-South interconnector, particularly about health, land devaluation, property devaluation, tourism and heritage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24569/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning process for the section of the project in Northern Ireland is ...

276. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will ensure that EirGrid does not advance further procurement or pre-construction activities for the North-South interconnector until the study recently announced is completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23679/17 asked on 18 May 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): EirGrid is the independent Transmission System Operator in Ireland and SONI (a subsidiary of the EirGrid Group) is the independent Transmission System Operator in Northern Ireland. The role of the independent Transmission System Operator includes the operation, maintenance and development of the electricity transmission network. As Minister, it is not appropriate for me to direct EirGrid in carrying out this ...

226. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the tender process will be complete for the contracting of international experts to investigate the costs of undergrounding the North-South interconnector versus the overheading of same; when the experts will be in place; when the investigation will be complete; and if he envisages a postponement or delay in the project as a result of the investigation. (Question 22205/17 asked on 10 May 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning process for the section of the project in Northern Ireland is ...

46. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when he will implement the motion regarding the North-South interconnector, which was passed on 16 February 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22088/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Timmy Dooley: When will the Minister implement the motion regarding the North-South interconnector which was passed on 16 February 2017? Will he make a statement on the matter?
 ...

60. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the North-South interconnector project. (Question 21899/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 60, 65, 71 and 80 together.
On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning p...

65. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the terms of reference will be finalised in respect of the study to be undertaken with regard to the proposed North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21888/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 60, 65, 71 and 80 together.
On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning p...

71. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when he will implement the motion regarding the North-South interconnector which was passed on 16 February 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21829/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 60, 65, 71 and 80 together.
On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning p...

80. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if there will be further consultations with local community groups prior to the finalisation of the terms of reference for the study in relation to the proposed North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21889/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 60, 65, 71 and 80 together.
On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning p...

328. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of funding provided under the capital plan for the North-South 400kb interconnection development; the amount spent to date; the expected completion date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18836/17 asked on 13 Apr 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The costs of development of the North South Interconnector are not borne by the Irish exchequer. The project will be funded in the same way as all other electricity and gas grid investments are paid for. Network costs are subject to approval by the Commission for Energy Regulation and charged by EirGrid, ESB Networks and Gas Networks Ireland to energy supply companies. The energy supply companies generally inc...