Powering the future of Ireland's energy

Following today's announcement by SSE plc of its preliminary results for the year to 31 March, we report on SSE's performance in Ireland's Wholesale market.

SSE's primary objective for its Generation division is to maintain a diverse generation portfolio, including the largest amount of renewable energy capacity in the UK and Ireland, that helps keep the lights on by being available, reliable and flexible.  This objective is underpinned by six principles that direct the operation of, and investment in, its Generation portfolio: 

· compliance: with all safety standards and environmental and regulatory requirements;

· diversity: to avoid over-dependency on particular fuels or technologies;

· capacity: to contribute to the requirements of the GB and Irish electricity systems;

· availability: to respond to system demand and market conditions;

· flexibility: to ensure that changes in demand for electricity and the variability of generation from wind farms can be addressed; and

· sustainability: to support progressive reduction in the CO2 intensity of electricity generated through the cost efficient decarbonisation of its generation fleet.

SSE's generation assets are underpinned by a strong engineering focus on asset life and ongoing equipment monitoring to maximise efficiency.

In moving towards a lower carbon generation mix SSE will, by the end of the decade, transition its generation assets in the UK and Ireland from a portfolio weighted towards gas and coal, towards a portfolio more weighted towards gas and renewables.  

SSE's generation portfolio at 31 March 2015 continues to have significant fuel diversity for producing electricity and retains a very flexible asset fleet.  It also makes SSE the largest generator of electricity from renewables across the UK and Ireland.

Generation - Ireland

SSE Irish Generation Capacity and Output 

Mar 15

Mar 14

Onshore wind capacity (NI) - MW

88

88

Onshore wind capacity (ROI) - MW

456

456

All Ireland wind capacity  - MW

544

544

Thermal capacity (ROI) - MW

1,068

1,068

All Ireland generation capacity - MW

1,612

1,612

Excludes 464MW at Great Island (net increase 224MW)   operational from 17 April 2015.

 

 

 

Onshore wind output (NI) - GWh

212

208

Onshore wind output (ROI) - GWh

1,055

1,142

All Ireland wind output  - GWh

1,267

1,350

Thermal output  (ROI)  - GWh

251

25

All Ireland generation output - GWh

1,518

1,375

Producing electricity for the Single Electricity Market

Through the last months of 2014/15 SSE carried out final commissioning tests on the new 464MW Great Island CCGT unit (grid connection capacity set at 431MW), with the station being handed over for commercial operation on 17 April 2015.  The commissioning of the new unit coincided with the retirement of the old 240MW HFO unit. 

The new CCGT station, which is now among the cleanest and most efficient natural gas power plants on Ireland's national grid, will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of half a million Irish homes and the transition from heavy fuel oil to gas improves the carbon intensity of SSE's fleet.

SSE is the third largest generator by capacity on the island and also trades across the interconnectors between GB and Ireland.

Delivering and developing new capacity for electricity generation

Onshore wind farm development pipeline (All Ireland)

March 15

March 14

In operation - MW

544

544

In construction or pre-construction - MW

152

116

With consent for development - MW

33

56

In planning - MW

c. 80

c. 100

Pre-planning - MW

over 150

over 150

 

Galway Wind Park (in construction) (174MW) - project with JV partners Coillte has started construction and, once completed, will be the Ireland's largest wind farm.  This completion date will qualify the project to be supported under the REFIT II support scheme.

Tievenameenta (in construction) (32MW) - Located in County Tyrone, this 32MW project is due to be commissioned in 2017, thereby qualifying for NIRO support.

Slieve Kirk Extension (consented) (9MW) - SSE recently received planning for the extension, which will bring the total installed capacity at the site to 83MW in 2017.

Engaging in the ISEM reform process

Reform of Ireland and Northern Ireland's SEM market is required in order to comply with the EU Electricity Target Model.  The regulators in each jurisdiction have progressed the Integrated SEM (I-SEM) project over the course of 2014/15, with the new market due to be introduced by the end of 2017.  SSE has been heavily involved in all stages of the consultation process and will remain engaged throughout the project, advocating an optimum design for customers and industry stakeholders.  Separately to reform of the market arrangements, the regulators and System Operators are involved in a project to review the ancillary services necessary to achieve Ireland's 2020 target.

 

Read our full preliminary results statement.