The Route Option Consultation Process
Our six-step approach to consultation and engagement
Our ‘Have Your Say’ publication outlines our commitment to engage with, and listen to, stakeholders.
Our Public Engagement Strategy explains how we engage with our stakeholders in the development of projects like this. You can read both publications at www.eirgrid.ie
Figure 1: Our six-step approach to developing the electricty grid
Now in Step 4, we will:
- hold a 12-week public consultation about this grid development project,
- examine four different route options to help decide where to put the underground electricity cables, and
- engage widely to further inform our decision on where to put the underground electricity cables.
Figure 2: Our six-step approach for the East Meath-North Dublin Grid Upgrade
What has happened so far?
In Step 1, In 2017, we confirmed the need for the East Meath-North Dublin Grid Upgrade.
In Step 2, In 2020, we compiled a shortlist of seven technical options for this upgrade. We assessed these seven options further under the multi-criteria assessment categories. This resulted in shortlisting four technical options to examine further in Step 3. These were:
- Woodland to Finglas 400 kV overhead line.
- Woodland to Finglas 400 kV underground cable.
- Woodland to Belcamp 400 kV overhead line.
- Woodland to Belcamp 400 kV underground cable.
In Step 3, In 2021, we reconfirmed the project need. We carried out feasibility studies for the four best-performing technology options and these were finalised in March 2022. The studies found that three of the four technical options involved significant challenges with the remaining option emerging as the best performing option to be progressed further.
- Woodland to Finglas options – The feasibility studies showed there is not enough physical space at the existing Finglas station to support the equipment required for either a 400 kV overhead line or underground cable without major expansion of the Finglas station or development of another new station nearby. The restricted space on this brownfield (industrial) site impacts development. Also, connecting to Finglas station would require lengthy equipment outages which would be difficult to grant while ensuring security of power supply to the Dublin area.
- Woodland to Belcamp options – There were a number of constraints identified in relation to new circuits to connect to this station. From an environmental perspective, an overhead line would have to cross the Malahide Estuary, a special area of conservation and special protection area. The underground cable alternative is able to avoid these constraints.
In April we identified the 400 kV underground cable option from Woodland to Belcamp as the Best Performing Option to progress for this project.
Expected Outcomes for Step 4
The expected outcomes (results) of Step 4 are to:
- consult with you on the four route options,
- publish a consultation report on the feedback received,
- announce an emerging best performing route option in spring 2023 and to consult locally with stakeholders on this, and
- announce a final option in summer 2023, identifying exactly where the project will be built. This step will not include applying for planning permission. This will be completed in Step 5.
Step 4 at a glance
We have identified four potential route options to upgrade the electricity grid in east Meath and north Dublin. As part of this we would like your feedback during our consultation period 7 September – 30 November 2022.
How long will this take?
Step 4 will take us into summer 2023. We will continue to engage on an ongoing basis.
What can I influence?
You can influence where we build this project by sharing your input to this consultation.
How can I get involved?
You can get involved in different ways. We are engaging and consulting at local level with members of the public, landowners, and local representatives from the study area. We are also speaking directly to elected representatives, specialist representative groups, environmental and planning agencies.
You can share your views from 7 September to 30 November 2022. Find out more at www.eirgrid.ie/EastMeathNorthDublin.
Who can I contact?
If you would like to find out more information, register to receive update emails or give feedback on this project, you can email EastMeathNorthDublin@eirgrid.com or contact your local Community Liaison Officers: Eoghan O’Sullivan 087 247 7732 or Gráinne Duffy 085 887 4798.
East Meath-North Dublin Grid Upgrade Community Forum
The forum aims to ensure that stakeholder and community views are understood and properly considered as we deliver the project. It makes sure that the voices of the local communities and those impacted most by our infrastructure are listened to. The forum provides for open dialogue between the project team and stakeholders with interests in the project.
The East Meath-North Dublin Grid Upgrade Community Forum offers advice to us on key project developments such as:
- how we communicate and engage with the public;
- what we need to consider in developing the project; and
- how we can deliver meaningful community benefit to the area where our infrastructure is hosted.
The forum acts as a consultative body and does not replace any other engagement and consultation we carry out.
How the forum was developed
In July 2022, we appointed Dr Harriet Emerson of Adjust as the independent Chair of the East Meath-North Dublin Grid Upgrade Community Forum.
An information evening was held on 14 July about the establishment of the forum and to inform interested stakeholders about the project and the role of the forum.
Community groups were then invited to express an interest in joining the forum. In addition, Fingal County Council and Meath County Council were invited to nominate elected representatives onto the forum. The community forum held its first meeting on 10 August and second meeting on 6 September. New community groups from areas not currently represented within the study area are welcome to express an interest in joining the community forum. The forum will continue to meet regularly to:
- discuss project updates,
- provide feedback, and
- ensure two-way communication is ongoing.
To be kept informed of forum activity, visit our website: www.eirgrid.ie/EastMeathNorthDublin