The Community Fund at EirGrid
We develop, manage and operate the electricity transmission grid. This brings power from where it is generated to where it is needed throughout Ireland. We use our grid to supply power to industry and businesses that use large amounts of electricity.
Our grid also powers the distribution network. This supplies the electricity you use every day in your homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and farms.
In some locations, and to some observers, electricity transmission lines have a visual impact on the landscape. This is because they can seem intrusive when first built. When we need to find routes for new lines, we consider many factors. These include the need to protect the interests of individuals, households, businesses and communities. We aim to create as little disturbance as possible, but it’s difficult to avoid private, business or community property. In 2012, the Government issued a policy statement on this issue. It recommended that we should provide a direct benefit to surrounding communities when we build new transmission infrastructure. In response, we created the Community Fund and Proximity Payments. These give back to individuals and communities who are closest to new lines and stations.
Focus on community fund: importance of local communities
The Community Fund recognises the importance of the local communities who support our work. Under this initiative, we create a fund in proportion to the scale of the project and we distribute grants from the fund when a project is complete and goes live. We calculate the size of the fund based on the length and voltage of the new overhead transmission line.
€360,000 Community Fund
Last year, EirGrid launched a €360,000 Community Fund for its Mullingar Reinforcement Electricity Project. The project is a 25km, 110kV transmission line between Mullingar, Co Westmeath and Killaskillen, Co Meath. Some 37 community groups in Westmeath and Meath were awarded funding and represented a cross-section of community life, from music to athletic and sporting organisations, from childcare services to support for senior citizens.
This was the first EirGrid Community Fund and we look forward to continuing to work with communities across Ireland on this in the future.