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SONI updates Causeway Chamber on North-South Electricity Interconnector Project

Senior representatives from SONI (System Operator Northern Ireland) have briefed Causeway Chamber representatives (Tuesday 8th December 2015) on the proposed North-South electricity interconnector project (NSI).

The proposal, a planning application for which is currently with the Planning Appeals Commission, is required to achieve security of electricity supply in Northern Ireland and will result in significant savings to consumers.

Given the importance of a secure and efficient electricity supply to the thousands of homes and businesses in the Causeway area, the briefing provided Chamber representatives with an opportunity to learn about the current status of the project.

Members were also brought up-to-speed on other transmission network developments in the Causeway area undertaken by SONI.

Speaking after of the meeting, NSI Project Manager Shane Brennan explained:

“We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to speak to Causeway Chamber.
“The North-South interconnector is one of the most important infrastructure projects in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland.
“It is needed to underpin security of electricity supply for Northern Ireland.It will also improve the efficiency of the electricity market resulting in lower bills for customers.
“The project is expected to reduce electricity prices for consumers across the island by at least £14million each year, with this figure expected to rise in years to come.
“A strong, reliable and secure electricity network is vital to help Northern Ireland’s economy to grow, to attract foreign investment and create new employment opportunities including in the Causeway area.
“All the main business organisations in Northern Ireland recognise the need for North South Interconnector, including the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“We are committed to continuing to progress the project over the next 12 months, with an anticipated delivery date of Q4 2019.This will bring benefits to businesses and homes throughout the Causeway area.”

Ultimately the planning decision is a matter for the Planning Appeals Commission and the Environment Minister.

SONI hopes that the public inquiry can resume in early 2016.

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