As part of a major electricity upgrade, EirGrid will install over 50km of underground electricity cables across Dublin
EirGrid has published a list of routes earmarked for essential upgrades of the capital’s electricity grid. The Powering Up Dublin project outlines twelve potential routes, five of which will be chosen after a public consultation.
The major project will replace underground cabling some of which is up to 50 years old and "reaching its end of life" - on routes linking substations at Carrickmines and Poolbeg; North Wall and Poolbeg; Finglas and North Wall; with two routes required to link Inchicore and Poolbeg. The installation of these underground cables will connect electricity substations around Dublin, and is likely to cause traffic disruption for the duration of the installation.
However, speaking to Newstalk Michael Mahon, Eirgrid's Chief Infrastructure Officer, highlighted the importance of the work as "to allow us to make the system more sustainable into the future, to allow us to take advantage of renewable energy and to transport that into our homes and businesses".
Upgrading the cables increases the amount of power that can be transferred, this demand will only increase in the future with plans for more electric cars, heat pumps and new houses likely to add to the demand. The operator has said "Powering Up Dublin will enable the city’s grid to use and transmit the electricity generated from offshore wind energy to the heart of the city. This is a vital step to help Ireland transition to a low-carbon electricity future."
Mahon added, "the demand for electricity in Dublin is so great, that we can't afford to take the existing circuits out of service for long enough to replace them," he said.
"Some of the cables are actually direct-buried... so we need to replace those cables with new routes."
"That's the purpose of the consultation: to engage with people to try and actually find out the best routes that minimise the level of disruption that's going to be involved," adding that the work may impact on existing work to Luas or cycle lanes.
"The purpose of this upgrade, and the other projects outside of Dublin, is effectively to transport renewable energy into the Greater Dublin Area".
"There is a potential... but again part of the consultation, part of working with the councils, etc in our infrastructure forum, part of engaging with communities is to try and find the best routes that minimise the amount of disruption," he added speaking on Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show.
Following public consultation, the work on the five routes is due to start next year and is estimated to be completed by 2029. Three options have been put forward for each area and will be available for public consultation for eight weeks from Tuesday March 28th. The operator has said that the work will not be carried out on motorways, will avoid going through private land or agricultural lands and avoid sensitive natural and built heritage locations.
The consultation process will include a series of public information events taking place around Dublin, along with online webinars and drop-in clinics in different areas, more info is available here.