EirGrid has selected a site at Ballyadam near Carrigtwohill as the location to build a convertor station as part of a project which is set to create “colossal” potential for the East Cork area.
The converter station at Ballyadam is an important part of the €1 billion electricity project, known as the Celtic Interconnector, that will allow the exchange of electricity between Ireland and France.
The selected Ballyadam site is 10km by road from the Knockraha electricity substation and between Carrigtwohill and Midleton.
The site is to the North of the N25 Cork to Waterford Road, with the landing spot to be located in Youghal, where the power cables will travel underground to the convertor station at Ballyadam.
Fianna Fáil TD James O’Connor described the potential for Youghal town as “colossal” but stated that funding from EirGrid will a major benefit for the communities in East Cork.
“The major aspect I think for communities out there is the community funding that is to be made available. EirGrid has committed to increasing the amount of money they are making available for communities so that is quite significant for any community.”
The project is also expected to create hundreds of jobs during the construction phase and many long-term economic benefits for the area.
“The majority of the benefit will come from the aftermath of the project,” said Mr O’Connor.
“Also from the point of view of the broadband connection, it does open up opportunities for potential technology investment and FDI in East Cork which is currently non-existent.”
However, Mr O’Connor has said that he wants to ensure that the route will avoid running directly through the main streets of Killeagh and Castlemartyr.
“At Killeagh and Castlemartyr, the EirGrid connector cable could potentially mark out the route for a future bypass for both villages which is very significant,” he said.
“The most sensible thing to do in my opinion is that the interconnector would accompany a new bypass.”