McGlone welcomes assurance on funding move to help with upgrade of NIE grid

Wind turbine
Wind turbine

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has welcomed an assurance from the Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster that her department is working on an application to seek EU funding to help with the upgrade of NIE’s power grid.

The Mid Ulster MLA, who is chair of the Assembly’s ETI committee, asked Arlene Foster about the matter during Question Time today.

Mr McGlone said: “In response to my Assembly question, Minister Foster says her department is working up an application to seek EU funding to help with the upgrade of the electricity grid; which is welcome news.

“A major issue is the lack of grid capacity, particularly West of the Bann, to absorb the flow of power from turbines/renewables and to offer sufficient capacity for major connections.

“I have been told that investment by businesses in the Cookstown area, and west of the Bann is being hindered because of NIE’s failure to develop the power supply in the area. NIE must start investing in the grid in the area and giving hard working businesses the opportunity to expand, which is needed to help our economy at this time.

“The sooner the Minister is able to submit an application for EU funding the better, and the ETI committee will keep a close watch on developments.”