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Murphy 'Switches On' electricity supply to Rathlin

26 June, 2008

Sinn Féin Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy today officially switched on a new 10.4km subsea electricity cable which extends from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island.

The new cable connects islanders to the main electricity network for the first time and provides them with the same level of supply as the rest of the north.

The minister said:

"The new subsea cable installed by NIE will deliver a more reliable electricity supply to the homes and businesses on Rathlin Island, as well as supporting the entire island with its various development plans.

"The cable provides a capacity and quality of electricity supply to the island which is equivalent to that of other customers. It will also ensure a supply to islanders for their future electricity demands. This is essential to ensure the long term sustainability of the Rathlin Island community including its potential to support tourism."

Work on this project has been ongoing since 2005 and has been welcomed by the Rathlin Development Community Association.

The development of renewable energy projects on the island could also be enhanced by the completion of the cable project, as it now provides the opportunity to export generated renewable electricity.

Notes to Editors:

  • Prior to the installation of the new subsea electricity cable, Rathlin Island was not connected to the main electricity system with power being provided over past years by wind turbines, diesel generating sets and battery storage.
  • The new high voltage subsea cable runs from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island and provides the island with an electrical power supply of the same quality as that provided to other customers.
  • The new cable may also allow residents on the island to consider renewable energy projects and export some of the generation.

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