Eden-Carnmoney reinforcement project: public engagement sessions ahead of major work on overhead power line

Two public consultation events are to be held this month ahead of major refurbishment of overhead power line between Eden and Carnmoney.
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The events in Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey are being organised by SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland), which manages the electricity grid to ensure that power can flow safely, securely and reliably from where it is generated to where it is needed.

In a statement, SONI explained: “ In addition to managing the Grid in real time, our expert engineers are responsible for planning ahead to ensure our energy infrastructure meets the needs of the future. We are working to upgrade our power system to support the delivery of the NI Energy Strategy, all while ensuring the security of supply for homes, businesses, and farms across Northern Ireland in the present.

“The overhead power line from Eden (near Carrickfergus) to Carnmoney is now over 80 years old. Substantial housing development has taken place in the years since the overhead line was originally built, meaning it is no longer feasible to refurbish the entirety of the overhead line.

The overhead power line from Eden to Carnmoney is now over 80 years old. Photo by GoogleThe overhead power line from Eden to Carnmoney is now over 80 years old. Photo by Google
The overhead power line from Eden to Carnmoney is now over 80 years old. Photo by Google

"SONI plans to refurbish parts of this overhead line and underground cabling will enable other parts of the overhead line to be de-energised and in time be removed altogether.”

The Eden-Carnmoney project is designed to bolster security of supply in the Carrickfergus and the greater Newtownabbey areas for years to come.

SONI went on to state: “Before we develop or add to the grid, we work with those who may be affected by our plans. We want to engage with local communities at every step of the process. To date we have met with elected representatives and local planning officials, and we look forward to facilitating public engagement events in Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey in March.

"These events provide us with an opportunity to talk to the local community about the project and listen to their views which help us to further refine our plans.”

The public consultation sessions will be as follows:

  1. March 13 - Mossley Mill, Yarn Suite, 19 Carnmoney Road North, Newtownabbey BT36 5NL, 14:00 – 19:00;
  2. March 14 - Carrick Town Hall, 2B Joymount, Carrickfergus BT38 7DN, 14:00 – 19:00
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Meanwhile, the consultation portal website at consult.soni.ltd.uk/ is open until Friday, May 10, 5.00pm.

Eimear Watson, head of Networks NI (SONI), commented: “At SONI we are focused on investing in and improving the transmission grid, so that everyone has access to the power they need, when they need it. The Eden-Carnmoney reinforcement project is a major part of our improvement and investment works and we are pleased to be bringing forward our proposals for the local community, businesses, and key stakeholders to have their say.

“Collaboration is key to the process and through this stage of consultation we want to provide the local community with as much information as possible for them to submit feedback on these proposals before the consultation closes on Friday 10th May at 17:00.”