In February 2021, EirGrid published a new public engagement strategy for a cleaner energy future. The ‘Pandemic Proof Strategy‘ for public engagement is underpinned by experiences of the engagement EirGrid undertook on grid development projects and strategies this past year.
• Successful completion of 23 public consultation events throughout 2020 and more than 150 events in 2021
• Events ranged in size from 5 stakeholders over an hour to 100 stake-holders over 3 days to 400 stakeholders for a half day forum
• Involves development of a new online consultation portal, hosting of virtual exhibition spaces on projects, the establishing of community forums and creation of information and education videos
About this practice:
With its new strategy, EirGrid has enhanced its engagement capacity by significantly investing in people (staff) and growing dedicated public engagement resources that prioritise the accessibility of engagement systems, responding to stakeholder needs and embedding digital tools. The overarching goal is to accelerate public acceptance of electricity transmission infrastructure by building trust and introducing participative engagement and co-design processes to projects. The new strategy involves working with partners and stakeholders to deliver improvements including local communities, landowners and industry. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the process of adopting new technologies, learning by doing and adapting to the needs of stakeholders.