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Back to Press Releases 27 September 2019

ESB Networks appoints a third party to progress Local Engagement on Laois- Kilkenny Project

Friday, September 27th 2019

ESB Networks announced today that it has appointed Irish Rural Link to carry out an independent evaluation of the local community engagement for a major electricity transmission project in Coolnabacky. This important project is to upgrade the electricity network across the Midlands.

Paul Dempsey, ESB Networks said: “This electricity infrastructure project represents a major upgrade of the electricity system for the whole of the Midlands area. It will also provide the capacity and security of supply required by customers, including farms, businesses and families. We are eager to engage further with all stakeholders on delivering this important project for the people and current and future businesses of the midlands region.”

The preliminary works on site comprise of the temporary relocation of the existing Athy-Portlaoise 110kv Line at Coolnabacky, south-east of Portlaoise in advance of the main substation construction work. The substation is part of the Laois-Kilkenny Project that will enhance the quality and security of electricity supply in Laois, Kilkenny, Carlow and Kildare. There are also a number of elements to the scheme, including construction of a new substation at Ballyragget, County Kilkenny; a new 110kV line between the two substations; and an upgrade to the existing Ballyragget-Kilkenny 110kv line.

This scheme represents an investment of €110 million into the region. Construction is expected to take three years to complete. Planning conditions for the preliminary works have been discharged and conditions related to each element of the project will be discharged to the satisfaction of the local authorities in advance of construction works.

Working on behalf of ESB Networks and EirGrid, Irish Rural Link will engage with concerned local parties on the project.


For Media queries, please contact:

Kieran O’Neill, ESB Networks, 087 934 9200

David Martin, EirGrid, 085 603 0969

About ESB Networks:

ESB Networks employs over 3,200 people, which includes specialist network technicians on the front line connecting, maintaining and repairing the electricity system for Ireland’s homes, farms and businesses to create one of the world’s most resilient energy networks.

About EirGrid:

EirGrid is a state-owned company that manages and operates the transmission grid across Ireland. The high-voltage network brings power from generators and supplies wholesale energy to heavy users. The grid also supplies the electricity distribution network. This powers every home, business, school, hospital, factory and farm on the island. We are responsible for a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity: now, and in the future.

About Irish Rural Link:

Irish Rural Link (IRL), formed in 1991, is a national network of organisations and individuals campaigning for sustainable rural development in Ireland and Europe. IRL, a non-profit organisation now directly represents over 600 community groups with a combined membership of 25,000.