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SONI welcomes news on North South Interconnector

SONI welcomes progress towards North South Interconnector planning decision

  • SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) welcomes the news that the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) has issued its recommendation on the outcome of the planning applications for the North South Interconnector to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI)
  • The PAC completed its Public Inquiry into the proposal in February 2017
  • It is expected that the Department for Infrastructure will consider the recommendation and announce its decision in the coming months

SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) has welcomed the news that the PAC has issued its report and recommendation on the outcome of the planning application for the North South Interconnector to the Department for Infrastructure.

The recommendation follows the PAC’s public inquiry into the proposal, which was held at the Armagh City Hotel in February of this year. The inquiry included deputations from SONI, local stakeholders, the Department for Infrastructure and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

The Business Alliance, the Utility Regulator and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland also presented to the PAC Commissioner to highlight the importance of the North South Interconnector in terms of facilitating investment and economic growth in Northern Ireland, and reducing the cost of electricity to consumers.

It is understood that the Department for Infrastructure will now consider the PAC’s recommendation and accompanying report, before issuing a decision on the planning application in the coming months.

Robin McCormick, General Manager, SONI said:

"This is a positive step towards a decision on the planning application for the North South Interconnector project in Northern Ireland.

"The Interconnector remains an urgent requirement to ensure we have enough electricity to meet demand in the coming years, and is also needed to reduce electricity costs to domestic and commercial consumers throughout the island.

"The PAC has been very professional in its approach to the proposal, and we now look forward to the Department for Infrastructure announcing a decision as soon as possible."