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Calls made for more to be done to tackle the problem of power cuts in Derry

Particular concern about outages in the Culmore area

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Electricity chiefs have been asked to address the issues causing power cuts in Derry.

There was a major power outage for several hours in the Foyle Springs and Ballymagroarty areas of the city yesterday.

While yesterday's power cut is understood to have been caused by a third party, a local politician has asked NIE Networks to look at issues with the power supply in the area.

SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin described the spate of recent electricity supply outages in Derry and Strabane as 'unacceptable'.

She is calling on NIE Networks to urgently make the necessary grid investments to address the situation, improving resilience and reliability.

She said: "Electricity supply has failed several times in recent weeks in Derry and Strabane, with particular problems in the Culmore area. This is simply unacceptable. Electricity is essential and there must be security of supply.

"The latest supply issues on Friday were the result of actions by a third party, I am told by NIE Networks. But this is only part of the problem. I believe that in Culmore, for example, there needs to be significant investment for the grid to meet existing and future levels of demand.

"I have had a series of meetings and conversations with NIE Network and the systems operator SONI in recent weeks and months, including last Friday.

"I have stressed to them that there has to be urgent investment to resolve these problems.

"I understand that NIE Network is to come forward with a series of proposals in the coming days to strengthen the grid and address the issues that are very evident.

"I have also raised the matter with the economy minister, Diane Dodds, who is the minister responsible for energy.

"Investment in the electricity infrastructure is particularly important as we move increasing towards reliance on renewable energy sources, ending our dependence on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas.

"Renewables can play a key role in strengthening our economy in the North West, given our climate and geography, and the opportunities it provides for related employment."

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