Northern Ireland’s grid operator SONI is set to review how it engages with landowners as it carries out significant electricity grid upgrades over the coming decades.

The Northern Ireland Energy Strategy and the Climate Change (Northern Ireland) Act 2022 set a legal target of 80% of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030.

To enable more renewable energy to be integrated on to the power system, SONI has developed a draft transmission development plan, which sets out the grid infrastructure upgrades needed over the next 10 years.

This process will involve considerable engagement with landowners and a public consultation is now open to determine how best to do this.

What are they asking?

As part of the consultation, SONI wants to know what issues need to be considered when engaging with landowners and rural stakeholders. They also ask how best to balance the need for meaningful engagement with landowners with the time-sensitive energy targets.

SONI is also seeking views on its overall stakeholder engagement strategy and its approach to public engagement through its public engagement model.

The consultation is open from 9 February and closes at 5pm on 29 March and can be accessed here.