Electricity company in talks over Galway ‘big dig’

The underground grid will link a wind farm near Moycullen with a substation in Galway City.

Energy company SSE Renewables has begun negotiations with residents’ groups regarding the construction of a new underground electricity grid which is set to connect Galway City with a wind farm in Connemara next year.

The plan to connect the wind farm cluster in Cloosh Valley, near Roscahill, with the city’s existing 110kV substation in Ballybrit will result in road works in areas including Moycullen, Bushypark, Menlo, and the Headford Road over the next year.

When completed, the Galway Wind Park is expected to produce enough green energy to power around 84,000 homes, which is equivalent to almost 90% of the homes in County Galway.

Representatives of SSE Renewables met with representatives of the Menlo Residents Committee in recent weeks to allay their concerns regarding road works which are expected to last for about six weeks next summer.

Site surveys have already been taking place along the route of the proposed 26km grid between Roscahill and the city centre.

“As part of its ongoing community engagement SSE Renewables met with Menlo community representatives earlier in the summer to outline planned works associated with the construction of this underground grid connection,” said a spokesman for the energy company yesterday.

“The planned underground grid connection works will commence construction in Summer 2015. We expect these works, which will be subject to a detailed traffic management plan, to be completed in around six weeks.”

The proposed grid will cross the River Corrib at a point to the south of Menlo Castle, before following the existing road to the Menlo Park Hotel and on towards Ballybrit.

Locals had expressed some concerns regarding traffic delays on a narrow roadway as well as concerns that the project might have implications for the long-term plan to link up Menlo Village with the city’s main sewerage scheme.

City Councillor Frank Fahy (FG), who lives in the area, said Menlo residents had concerns over the scale of the project and were seeking a public meeting with representatives of SSE Renewables in the coming weeks.

Read more in this week’s Connacht Sentinel