ESB Networks and the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment are continuing to work on the restoration of electricity to Inis Meain and Inis Oirr following the failure of the undersea cable on Friday morning last.
Work is well underway on installing a generator to operate on a temporary basis while repair works are carried out on the undersea cable.
The generator units were transported to the Islands on Saturday. However, the units operate at a lower voltage than the 20Kv network that ESB Networks operates on the Aran Islands and need to be connected to a step-up transformer.
The transformer has been sourced from the UK and has been modified so that it will work to the voltage on the Islands. At a weight of 22 tonnes, the transformer was transported in a 20 foot container to the Islands this morning.
The Head of Distribution and Customer Services informs me that a significant amount of wiring is required today but that it’s hoped the generator will be up and running this evening (Monday).
Regarding the repair works of the undersea cable, ESB Networks informs me that only one of the three cores of the cable has been damaged. A specialist ‘diving pod’, developed by ESB International, is being transported to the Islands and will hopefully facilitate ‘underwater’ repair works.
The current estimate – a conservative estimate – for repair works is two weeks. ESB Networks is doing everything possible to reduce the length of time which is impacted by a number of issues such as underwater visibility and weather conditions. At all times the safety of repair crews is a priority.
I would like to thank the ESB Network teams for their work. I’d also like to thank the Islanders for their patience and understanding while work continues to install the generator and repair the undersea cable as fast as possible.