NIE could bear costs of putting North South Electricity Inter-connector underground
Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has said that while the North South Electricity Inter-connector will bring undoubted benefits to people right across the island but that the concerns are being voiced all along the proposed route.
Mr Brady said:
"This inter connector will allow an all island electricity market to work efficiently. It will benefit the consumer in both price and dependability. We recognise and welcome this.
"The concerns which have been raised, both North and South of the border, relate to major health concerns. Sinn Fein asked NIE to extend the corridor of consultation up to a kilometre, they done and it was welcomed. They also held a consultation clinic in Armagh City.
"Unfortunately, NIE have failed to convince the general public that these health concerns are unwarranted, or so minimal that they do not warrant concern.
"In the absence of clear and unequivocal evidence that these overhead power lines will not cause medical risks to those living in the vicinity of these pylons, it should then be incumbent of the powers that be, namely the Minister of the Environment, to ensure this inter connector is placed under ground.
The main obstacle to this inter connector being put underground is cost. We are being told that any additional cost will be borne by the consumer. Yet NIE is a profit making company, they will be making profits from this inter connector for many years to come. They can easily absorb any additional cost for under grounding over many years." ENDS