Laois Kilkenny Grid Reinforcement

A new electricity cable will reinforce the grid in the Laois-Kilkenny region. It is critical to maintaining a reliable electricity service in the region, and making the grid renewable ready as Ireland transitions to a low carbon electricity future.

Project Overview

The grid in Kilkenny and Laois needs to be upgraded to reduce risks to the quality and security of the power supply in the immediate area, as well as in the adjacent counties of Carlow and Kildare. 

The upgrade will help meet the increased demand for electricity in the area. Projected growth in electricity demand in the area will cause problems in the future if not addressed.

This project proposes to develop a new electricity line between the two counties. The plan follows the grid planning criteria for these areas, and includes minimal new infrastructure.

Laois - Kilkenny project area map

What's Included?

We have planned for the installation of interim measures in the Kilkenny substation. This will ensure electricity supply to the area, but is only a short-term measure. It does not address the underlying risks to the security and quality of the electricity supply.

For the Laois Kilkenny Reinforcement Project, the proposed infrastructure includes:

  • A new 400/110 kV substation situated to the south-east of Portlaoise, at Coolnabacky. Two existing overhead lines will connect to this new substation: the 400 kV Moneypoint-Dunstown line and the 110 kV Athy-Portlaoise line.
  • A new 110/38 kV substation located next to the existing 38 kV electricity substation at Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny.
  • A new 110 kV line between these two new stations at Coolnabacky and Ballyragget.
  • An upgrade for the existing Ballyragget-Kilkenny overhead line to become a 110 kV line.
  • A modification to the existing Athy-Portlaoise 110 kV line and works in the Kilkenny substation. 

Benefits of the Project

The project will address the regional concerns on the grid. In particular, it ensures that the power system can meet the grid’s technical standards. 

All parts of Ireland need a reliable, high quality standard of electricity supply. This ensures that our electricity grid can meet the present and future needs of all users; from homes and farms, to small businesses and industry. 

A strong electricity grid provides this reassurance, as Ireland transitions to a low carbon electricity future. It will also provide the capacity and security of supply demanded by industry and high-tech users. 

This will allow the region to compete for and retain businesses with employment potential. 

Where Are We Now?

Below shows the status for different elements of the project.

Project element
In progress project work 2023
Planned project work 2024

Coolnabacky 400/110 kV station

Discharge planning conditions and remobilise to site

Commence 110 kV GIS Building Works Q1 2024

Ballyragget 110 kV Station

Completed Q3 2023

Kilkenny 110 kV Station

Completed Q3 2023

Ballyragget-Coolnabacky 110 kV line

On the Kilkenny side, works substantially completed. 90% of structures in place and 25% of stringing completed.

On the Laois side, OHL CEMP approved by Laois County Council, work to commence Q1 2024

Project Contacts

General Contact

Laois-Kilkenny Reinforcement Project EirGrid Plc The Oval 160 Shelbourne Road Ballsbridge Dublin 4 Email: laoiskilkennyreinforcement@eirgrid.com Phone: +353 1 237 0472

Eoghan O'Sullivan

Community Liaison Officer

Phone: +353 87 247 7732

Project Updates

October 2023

New Ballyragget Substation: This station is now built and is fully operational.

Ballyragget – Kilkenny Line Uprate: This will be completed and energised in Autumn 2023.

Kilkenny 110kV Substation: These upgrade works are now completed.

New Coolnabacky 400/110kV Substation: Plans are under way to start construction in quarter 4 2023.

New Ballyragget-Coolnabacky 110 kV Overhead Line: Contractor has commenced construction and work is progressing on the Kilkenny side of the line at present.

Community Forum

The Laois Kilkenny community forum brings together people and organisations from the area. It means we can discuss, understand, and properly consider stakeholder and community views.

Irish Rural Link is the independent chair of this community forum.

The role of the forum is to advise on:

  • How we communicate and engage with the public
  • What we need to consider in developing the project
  • How we can deliver meaningful community benefit to the area where our infrastructure is hosted


The Community Forum comprises local representatives from community groups and associations and elected representatives in Laois and Kilkenny.

In April 2021 we held an information evening about the setup of the forum. We then opened a public nomination period where community groups were invited to express an interest in sitting on the forum. 

New membership to the forum is now closed.

Community Fund

We aim to create as little disturbance as possible, but at times work on the electricity system can involve some disruption to communities. For this reason, a dedicated fund for new grid development is made available to provide direct benefits to communities who are closest to new transmission infrastructure.

We awarded €204,600 to community groups and not-for-profit organisations in Laois and Kilkenny. This is the first of three phases of funding available in the areas adjacent to the project, of a total fund of €511,500.

See the projects and funding amounts below.

Community Group / Organisation
Proposed Value Offered

Spink Tidy Towns

Purchase of an amenity lawnmower


Spink Comhaltas

Spink Music Festival - Inspiring the musicians of tomorrow


Ballyouskill Heritage & Tourism Society

Refurbishing the heritage stained glass windows at Ballyouskill church


Ballyroan Blue Stars Basketball Club

Ladies team away kit


O'Gorman Home Supported Care Unit

Converting bedroom to en-suite isolation room in accordance with infection control regulations


Ballyouskill Community Hall

Insulating the community hall


Ballyragget Scout Group

Equipment for scouting group


Ballinakill Community Development Association CLG

Ballinakill amenity park development


Spink Community Development Association

Flood lighting for community field in Spink


Ballinakill GAA Club

Walking/running track


Ballyragget Community Hall Committee

Replacing corrugated metal roof of the community hall


St. Patrick's (Ballyragget) GAA Club

Enhancing facilities at St. Patrick's GAA grounds


Project Links and Documents

You can find all documents relating to the Laois Kilkenny Reinforcement Project in our Publications section. Search for 'Laois Kilkenny' to find all the information you need on phase one and phase two reports, as well as all other relevant documents.