North South Interconnector

The North South Interconnector project will see the addition of a new 400 kV overhead line to the network, connecting the electricity grids in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

As the status of the project progresses, this webpage will provide the latest updates and information, as well as all relevant brochures, documents and community engagement details. In the event that you have a query which is not covered in our FAQ section, you can reach out to our project team via the contact information below.

Project Overview

Peer organisations EirGrid and SONI operate the electricity grid across the island, in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively, but currently there is only one interconnector between the two jurisdictions. 

A problem on this interconnector could result in widespread power failures.

As things stand, we have to restrict the amount of power that can flow through the existing infrastructure in order to limit the possibility of any such issues arising. 

However, in light of rising demand, the levels available at present are well below the secure and sustainable supply which electricity users will need.

This project will allow us to:

  • Eliminate the risk of a single event resulting in widespread power failures
  • Remove restrictions on cross-border flows of electricity
  • Bring more renewable energy onto the all-island grid
  • Operate a more efficient, cost-effective grid for all
North South Interconnector graphic

What's Included?

A second, higher-capacity interconnector is being added, to connect the electricity grids of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

It will connect to the network in Northern Ireland in Co Tyrone, cross the border between Armagh and Monaghan, and then join the network in Ireland at an existing substation in Co Meath. 

As this is a cross-border project, it is subject to planning laws in both jurisdictions. 

The grid in Northern Ireland is managed by the System Operator for Northern Ireland (SONI). For details on the Northern Ireland section of the interconnector, visit the SONI project website.

Benefits of the Project

A second North South interconnector will improve the security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland. 

It will improve the efficiency of the electricity system, put downward pressure on costs and ultimately save money for bill-payers.

The increased capacity will also enable more renewable energy on the grid. This is essential to achieve our climate change targets and increase energy independence.

It will also provide benefit to the people and communities surrounding the new interconnector.

Increasing the grid capacity will help to attract inward investment and jobs.

Where Are We Now?

We are now at Step 6 - construction, energisation and benefit sharing.

As part of our six-step approach to developing projects, we ask for regular feedback from the public and other stakeholders. 

The project has undergone an extensive planning process and subsequent legal challenges. It now has full planning and legal consent in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. We anticipate that this project will be completed in 2026.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gráinne Duffy

Community Liaison Officer

Phone: +353 85 887 4798 Email: grainne.duffy@eirgrid.com

John Boylan

Agricultural Liaison Officer

Phone: +353 85 877 2957 Email: john.boylan@eirgrid.com

General Contact

Post: North-South 400 kV Interconnection Development Project Manager EirGrid plc. The Oval 160 Shelbourne Road Ballsbridge Dublin 4 Ireland Email: northsouth@eirgrid.com Phone: Lo-Call 1890 252 690 (9am-5pm Mon - Fri)

Project Updates

4 December 2023

The latest North South Interconnection Development Project Update Brochure has been issued, outlining next steps for the project and engagement.

Landowner Engagement, Compensation Packages and Proximity Payments

EirGrid is now engaging with landowners who will be hosting infrastructure about related compensation packages. EirGrid will also discuss entitlement to proximity payments with those living within 200 metres of the line.

Community Engagement and Community Benefit

EirGrid will be liaising with local communities and representative bodies early in the New Year, 2024.

As the North-South Interconnection project moves toward the construction stage, EirGrid will establish two Community Forums along the route. These forums will afford residents an opportunity for open dialogue with the project team, ensuring regular updates and helping to deliver meaningful community benefit.

We recognise the importance of local communities and businesses who facilitate the upgrading of the electricity transmission network. While the North-South 400 kV Interconnector is being built, we will work to support communities as part of our Community Benefit Policy.

A dedicated fund for the North-South Interconnection Project will be made available to provide direct benefits to communities who are closest to the cable. This fund will support local community groups, as well as not-for-profit and social enterprises who are providing services, activities and facilities for the well-being of their localities.

In early 2024, EirGrid will host information webinars to share further details on the Community Forums and the Community Benefit Fund.

21 March: EirGrid Statement on Independent review into North South Interconnector

EirGrid has acknowledged the publication by Government of an independent review on the North South Interconnector. This Review accepts the findings of previous reports including the 2018 Expert Commission that indicated that the North South Interconnector should proceed as planned as an overhead line.

The North South Interconnector is critical for the security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland; to support social and economic growth in the Northeast region; and enable Ireland to reach its renewable energy targets.

As the project has full planning permission in Ireland and Northern Ireland it will now proceed to the next phase of the project. EirGrid will liaise closely with ESB Networks, which will build the Irish portion of the project and the regulator, the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities on the next steps.

There will be full engagement with landowners, local communities and stakeholders along the route as we proceed with the project.

North South Interconnector Planning Documents