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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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...

332. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the draft terms of reference regarding the North-South interconnector will be circulated to Members of the Oireachtas and to a committee in County Monaghan and another organisation (details supplied) for comment before they are signed off on; and if these terms of reference will require Cabinet approval. (Question 18935/17 asked on 13 Apr 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 332 and 342 together.
In light of the motions passed by Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, I requested officials in my Department to prepare a proposal for an updated independent study that will bring further clarity to the relative cost and technical merits of overhead and underground solutions for the North South Interconnector.
In preparing the terms of reference for this study,...

342. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when it is proposed to finalise the terms of reference in relation to the study to be undertaken concerning the proposed North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19087/17 asked on 13 Apr 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 332 and 342 together.
In light of the motions passed by Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, I requested officials in my Department to prepare a proposal for an updated independent study that will bring further clarity to the relative cost and technical merits of overhead and underground solutions for the North South Interconnector.
In preparing the terms of reference for this study,...

720. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a scenario (details supplied) is correct in view of the passing of the Fianna Fáil Oireachtas motion concerning same and the stay currently imposed by the judicial review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18158/17 asked on 11 Apr 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The news article referred to by the Deputy  outlines the Code of Practice drawn up by the ESB and IFA in 1985 and an agreement between the IFA and ESB Networks/EirGrid in 2009, which set out a framework for compensation payable to landowners for overhead transmission lines. In relation to the development of the North South Interconnector, three forms of payment were set out as part of the planning process. The...

243. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if EirGrid has been instructed to cease work on the proposed north-south interconnector following the passing of motions in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann which requested that no further work be carried out on this project until the independent international study would be undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15962/17 asked on 30 Mar 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 243 and 244 together.
EirGrid is the designated Transmission System Operator and its role includes the operation, maintenance and development of the electricity transmission network in Ireland. As detailed in the 2012 Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure, the Government does not seek to direct EirGrid in the deve...