The new sub station which will be located just off the N25, beside Culcita and in very close proximity to the IDA business park at Butlerland.
A 3km section of the R723 (old N25) road, stretching from the entrance to the Brandon House Hotel up passed Kent's Cross roundabout, is due to be dug up this autumn to facilitate the laying of ducting connected to a new ESB power substation for the town.
Project manager for the new Knockmullen substation Martina Kenny said the re-enforcement project will be completed in late 2021.
Barry Rafter said detailed designs are being drawn up for the new substation which will be located just off the N25, beside Culcita and in very close proximity to the IDA business park at Butlersland.
Mr Rafter said: 'Power will need to be brought in and out of the new substation so an underground grid connection is needed.'
This means underground ducting beneath the old N25 road surface needs to be laid.
'The ducts will run under the dual carriageway eastwards for 2kms, passing through the centre of the roundabout. It leaves the old N25 just before the [road] alignment and it will be joining the existing overhead ESB network in a field near Kehoe's Poultry Farm.'
There will be a number of connections off of the main route into Integer, for example.
A separate duct will run west from the substation towards the Brandon House Hotel, leaving the N25 at The Grove estate.
Ms Kenny said the old substation is causing a lot of issues in relation to supply, with outages occurring, while age related problems with the equipment means sourcing spare parts has proven difficult, leading to delays in repairs being effected.
'This is why the decision has been made to replace the existing New Ross substation and why we are building a new substation called the New Ross Re-enforcement Project. We are building the substation and all of the existing infrastructure going into the new substation to future proof New Ross town.'
She said Butlersland was chosen as the location because of the high concentration of industry located there.
Describing the look of the substation as modular, she said it will resemble a series of containers and will be pleasing to the eye.
'The aim is to reduce load constraints in the area and secure supply within the area.'
She said the project has been planned since September and work was to coincide with the opening of the bypass, as the reduction of traffic on the old N25 would facilitate the works to take place.
'We are putting together a construction programme at the moment and are talking to stakeholders.
'With Covid, our construction programme, I don't think it will halt us but it may change our construction programme. We see it as being of benefit to the town and we hope it will have a positive impact on the town during construction.'
She said the ESB hopes to get buy-in from the community and stakeholders. Work, she said, is due to begin in August before schools are due to start back.
Cllr Anthony Connick sought an exact time frame for the project, while Cllr Bridín Murphy asked if houses with solar panels in the area can connect with the network.
Cllr Michael Sheehan voiced his concern that traffic entering into and exiting the town will be affected, calling for the works to be carried out at night, where possible.
He asked for an update on what will happen the old station site, expressing concern that anti social behaviour might occur there.
'I want a commitment that nothing happens until there is a definite plan for the old site. It is located near the graveyard. I think people could congregate there,' he said.
Cllr Sheehan called on the ESB to lay the fixtures and ducting for public lighting along the same stretch of road, adding that there is a possibility that SIRO broadband could also use the infrastructure at a later date.
Cllr Michael Whelan asked why the ESB was locating the substation 2km outside the town centre when the station will be connecting back into the system.
'That brings its own disruption with it,' he said.
Cathaoirleach Cllr John Fleming said the station will modernise the electricity offering for the town and future proof the network. He asked if all of the cabling will be undeground and was assured by Ms Kenny that it will.
She said the ESB hasn't spoken to the stakeholders in the way it had hoped due to Covid-19, adding that the company aim to break ground in late summer and to energise the substation in late 2021. 'The big draw on supply is in the area is in the winter months.'
She said works on the road will not impact drivers into next year.
The opening of the new sub station will see the retirement of the old 38V New Ross Sub Station. Ms Kenny said the ESB is exploring the possible usage of the land, adding that they don't want it left as a vacant lot.
A planning application will be submitted later this year to demolish the current site and, as part of the application, plans for the site will be set out.
'We expect it will be reused by the ESB and if it's not, there will be plans for it.'
Ms Kenny said there is a possibility the ESB will put in ducting for street lights along the stretch of the ring road.
'We are connecting into the existing overhead cable and coming down the cable.
Mr Rafter said three cables will run up the road, a 38kv, a 20kv and a 10kv, parallel to the road for 2kms through the roundabout, with a single 10kv running down as far as The Grove, all underground.
Concern was expressed by Cllr Whelan about a static magnetic field coming off the substation, but he was assured by Ms Kenny that no such field will exist, but an electro magnetic field will.
She said the ESB has made attempts to contact SIRO, saying: 'It was going well until Covid-19.'
New Ross Standard