Grid West project set to go ahead?

EirGrid’s plans for the controversial Grid West project through Mayo and Roscommon have received a major boost after An Bord Pleanála approved plans for a wind farm in north Mayo.

  The planning body decided to give the go-ahead for 61 wind turbines to be erected on a 5,000-hectare site near Bellacorick. It is hoped that construction work on the project will begin next year.

  EirGrid’s project had stalled until a decision was made on this development because Grid West would be used to transport energy from the wind farm.

  Now that the project has been given the go-ahead, it is seen as a major boost to EirGrid.

  Grid West could involve either a line of electricity pylons from Moygownagh, Co. Mayo, to Flagford, near Carrick-on-Shannon, via rural areas of Ballaghaderreen, Frenchpark and Boyle.

  Instead, it could involve an underground cable route, or a combination of both.

  This week, EirGrid said that they were considering the implications for Grid West of the decision to approve the application for the wind farm.

  “Since late 2015, all project activity was paused while awaiting a decision from An Bord Pleanála regarding planning approval for the development of the Oweninny wind farm near Bellacorick, Co. Mayo,” a spokesman said.

  “Recently, An Bord Pleanála granted planning consent for the development of this wind farm.

  “We will now assess this decision and the impact this may have on the future development of the electricity grid in the west.

  “Once our assessment has been completed, we will share the outcomes and consult with stakeholders and communities as necessary.”