Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon has today confirmed that she has granted full planning permission for the North South Electricity Interconnector which will create a 400kv overhead electricity line connecting with the Republic of Ireland.
The applications were previously approved by DfI on 23 January 2018, however following a legal challenge and a court ruling, the two applications to secure NI’s electricity supply were quashed by the Courts and remitted back to the Department for determination.
Minister Mallon said: “Following the quashing of the previous decision, I have carefully reconsidered the proposal and the up-to-date environmental information and have concluded that planning permission should be granted for the development which remains of strategic importance for our island economy. I have also taken into account the report by the Planning Appeals Commission that included a full consideration of the planning issues and endorsed the significant strategic importance of the development for Northern Ireland and its compliance with planning policy.
“The North South Electricity Interconnector remains crucial to handling growing demand across the electricity transmission systems across the island of Ireland, promoting greater competition within the Single Electricity Market (SEM) for wholesale electricity trading and to protecting security of supply.
“It will also enhance network stability and support the future growth of renewable generation and help support our economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. These economic and system benefits will benefit citizens across our community.”