Bookmark and Share
27/06/2008

Rathlin's Big 'Switch' Pulled

Rathlin islanders are at last able to enjoy a dependable supply of electricity.

Yesterday, NI Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy officially switched on a new 10.4km subsea electricity cable which extends from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island.

He said that the new cable connects islanders to the main electricity network for the first time and provides them with the same level of supply as the rest of Northern Ireland.

"The new cable installed by NIE will deliver a more reliable electricity supply to the homes and businesses on Rathlin Island, as well as supporting the entire island with its various development plans.

"The cable provides a capacity and quality of electricity supply to the island which is equivalent to that of other customers.

"It will also ensure a supply to islanders for their future electricity demands.

"This is essential to ensure the long term sustainability of the Rathlin Island community including its potential to support tourism," he said.

Meanwhile, Laurence MacKenzie, Managing Director, Northern Ireland Electricity said: "We are delighted to complete the connection of Rathlin Island to Northern Ireland's electricity grid.

"This is very much a landmark day in a successful project which will provide a more dependable electricity supply to the homes and businesses on Rathlin.

"This project is part NIE's ongoing investment in the electricity network across Northern Ireland, an investment which continually upgrades the security of supply to all our customers," he said, noting that work on this project has been ongoing since 2005 and has been welcomed by the Rathlin Development Community Association.

The development of renewable energy projects on the island could also be enhanced by the completion of the cable project, as it now provides the opportunity to export generated renewable electricity.

Prior to the installation of the new subsea electricity cable, Rathlin Island was not connected to the main electricity system with power being provided over past years by wind turbines, diesel generating sets and battery storage.

Yesterday too, NI Energy Minister Arlene Foster made a point of encouraging Northern Ireland to have 'its say' in the debate about renewable energy.

The Minister spoke as the UK Government published a Renewable Energy Strategy for consultation.

"I am encouraging the people of Northern Ireland, and in particular those working in the energy industry and the sector’s key stakeholders, to have their say in this consultation," Mrs Foster said.

"Northern Ireland has some of the best conditions in Europe for renewable electricity production and we want to hear your views on how we can maximise this potential – and how we can start to increase levels of renewable heat consumption.

"We are almost wholly dependent on the import of fossil fuels. As the prices of these continue to increase, Northern Ireland must ensure it has access to secure, competitively priced and sustainable energy supplies.

"Boosting the production and consumption of renewable energy is a key part of my strategy to achieve this," she said.

(BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 October 2016
Over £2.7m Worth Of Drugs Seized In First Three Weeks Of Operation Torus
Police have seized over £2.7 million worth of drugs in the first three weeks of Operation Torus. PSNI carried out 297 searches which resulted in 75 arrests and 19 people were also reported or charged to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) since the operation started on Monday, 05 September. It will run until Sunday, 16 October.
15 September 2016
Irish Govt To Investigate Northern Ireland NAMA Sale
The Irish Government is to discuss plans to carry out an investigation into the sale of NAMA's Northern Ireland property portfolio. The Irish state asset agency sold the property loan portfolio to a US investment fund for £1.2billion in 2014. A number of allegations have been made since the sale.
18 November 2016
First Minister Refuses To Support Calls For UDA Leader To Step Down
First Minister Arlene Foster has refused to support calls for UDA leader Dee Stitt to step down as chief executive of Charter NI. On Wednesday, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness called for Mr Stitt to reconsider his position in light of the reputational damage being done to worthwhile Social Investment projects.
18 November 2016
Weather Warning For Ice Issued Across NI
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice across Northern Ireland. The warning comes into effect from 7pm on Friday, 18 November, until, 10am on Saturday, 19 November. Temperatures are also expected to plummet to around -2 degrees overnight.
18 November 2016
Scotland May Offer NI Women Free Abortions
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would explore the possibility for women in Northern Ireland to travel to Scotland to have an abortion free of charge.
10 March 2017
Other News In Brief
Two New Members To Be Appointed To Tourism NI Board The Department for the Economy has launched a public appointments competition to recruit two new members to the Board of Tourism Northern Ireland (TNI).
01 March 2017
NI's Air Ambulance Service Set To Launch In Three Months
Northern Ireland's new air ambulance service is set to launch within three months. A main helicopter is to be based at the Maze/Long Kesh site and a secondary helicopter will be based at St Angelo Airport in Enniskillen. The new service will be doctor-led and will operate for seven days a week for up to 12 hours a day during daylight hours.
20 March 2017
Other News In Brief
Call for Reduction In VAT On Tourism The Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee has called for a reduction in VAT on tourism.
03 October 2016
Accidental House Fires Killed Four People In NI This Year - Figures
Four people have died in accidental house fires, according to figures from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Services (NIFRS). The figures are a 43% reduction compared to last year, however the NIFRS said it is still four too many.
03 October 2016
Rangers Supporter From NI Killed In Bus Crash In Scotland
A Rangers supporter originally from Northern Ireland died after the bus he was travelling in was involved in a collision in Scotland. Ryan Baird, aged 39, was killed after the supporters' bus crashed on the A76 at the Crossroads roundabout in East Ayrshire at around 1.15pm on Saturday, 01 October.
30 September 2016
NI Housing Associations To Be Reclassified As Public Bodies
Housing Associations in Northern Ireland are to be reclassified as public bodies. The decision was made by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA said: "Housing Associations make an invaluable contribution to the social housing sector in Northern Ireland and it is vital that they continue to do so.
26 September 2016
Man Charged Over £1.2m Drugs Seizure
A 28-year-old man is to appear in court today, 26 September, after police seized drugs worth £1.2million in Belfast. A large quantity of cocaine, heroin and herbal cannabis were discovered after police stopped a car on the West Bank Road on Friday, 23 September.
09 February 2017
Shortage Of Supply Remains A Challenge For Housing Market In NI
A shortage of supply of houses coming onto the market remains a challenge in Northern Ireland, according to a new survey. The supply of new houses coming onto the market is falling, according to a survey carried out by the Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors (RICS) in association with Ulster Bank.
22 March 2017
PSNI Seize Over £309,000 Worth Of Drugs In NI
The PSNI seized over £309,000 worth of drugs during the first two weeks of its latest campaign in relation to drug dealing. From the start of Operation Torus on 27 February to 13 March, police conducted 244 searches across Northern Ireland resulting in 59 arrests and have also charged or reported 43 people to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).
14 March 2017
Pizza Chain To Create 300 Jobs In NI
A fast food chain is to create 300 jobs in Northern Ireland as part of expansion plans. Four Star Pizza has announced plans to open 18 new stores in NI in a £3million investment.