The villages of Castlemartyr and Killeagh are set to be bypassed when EirGrid lays the cable for the Celtic Interconnector Project, linking the Irish and French electricity grids.
In November, EirGrid identified a route along the public road network for the electricity cable from where it lands at Claycastle Beach in Youghal to a new converter station at Ballyadam in Carrigtwohill. The company also identified options for bypassing Castlemartyr and Killeagh.
Since then, following technical assessments and feedback from local stakeholders, it has been decided to bypass both villages.
Michael Mahon, EirGrid chief infrastructure officer, explained:
“We are in discussions with landowners close to both villages and are confident that we can come up with a very satisfactory solution,” he added.
Those landowners close to the proposed cable route are being contacted today to keep them informed of the latest developments.
The news was welcomed by East Cork TD James O’Connor. Speaking tohe said there were “significant concerns outlined by communities across East Cork that Killeagh and Castlemartyr would once again be impacted by roadworks to facilitate the laying of the new power cable between Ireland and France.
“We must do all we can to reduce the impact this project will have on the N25 corridor which is vital to Youghal and Midleton,” he added.
It is expected that the planning application for the project will be submitted this spring and a decision is expected to take approximately 12 months. If green-lit, the project will begin construction in 2022.
Michael Mahon added: “Notwithstanding the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we are continuing to engage with stakeholders. Our community liaison officers are available by phone and are keen to answer any questions people have.” The Celtic Interconnector is an undersea link that will allow the exchange of electricity between Ireland and France. EirGrid has been working on the €1 billion project since 2011 with its French equivalent, Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTÉ).
The interconnector is co-funded by EirGrid and RTÉ, with co-financing from the EU. In 2019, the European Commission awarded the project €530.7 million to support its design and delivery.