Producing electricity for Ireland’s Single Electricity Market

Following today's announcement by SSE plc of its preliminary results for the year to 31 March 2016, we look at SSE’s Electricity Generation division and report on SSE's performance in Ireland's Wholesale market.

 

March 16

March 15

GENERATION

 

 

Gas- and oil-fired generation capacity (Ire)  - MW

1,292

1,068

Onshore wind capacity (NI) - MW

88

88

Onshore wind capacity (ROI) - MW

456

456

Total renewable generation capacity - MW

544

544

Total electricity generation capacity - MW

1,836

1,612

 

 

 

Gas- and oil-fired output (Ire) - GWh

1,780

251

Onshore wind output NI - GWh

235

212

Onshore wind output ROI - GWh

1,308

1,055

Total renewable generation - GWh

1,543

1,267

Total generation output all plant - GWh

3,323

1,518

 

SSE is the third largest generator by capacity in the all-island Single Electricity Market (SEM), owning and operating 1,836MW of generation capacity of which 544MW is from renewable sources. This makes SSE the largest single generator of wind power in the SEM. The company also trades across the interconnectors between Ireland and GB.

SSE's new 464MW Great Island CCGT unit (grid connection capacity set at 431MW) commenced commercial operation in April 2015. Coinciding with the retirement of the old 240MW heavy fuel oil unit at the same site, the transition to gas has improved the carbon intensity of SSE’s fleet and significantly decarbonises energy generation in the all-island market.

Delivering and developing new capacity for electricity generation

SSE continues to invest in renewable capacity for electricity generation in Ireland.  Over the two years to March 2018, SSE will add 174MW of new Irish wind power generation capacity to its existing fleet.

In the Republic of Ireland, construction of the two-phase 174MW (SSE share 120MW) Galway Wind Park project is ongoing. Phase 1 of the project (66MW), which entered construction in February 2015, is owned and financed by SSE. Phase 2 (108MW) is a 50/50 joint venture between SSE and Coillte. Galway Wind Park is expected to complete in 2017, qualifying the wind farm for the REFIT II support scheme.

In Northern Ireland, SSE is currently constructing the 35MW Tievenameenta Wind Farm in Co. Tyrone. In the same county construction is due to commence shortly on the 19MW Slieve Divena II Wind Farm. Both projects are expected to be fully operational in 2017 and meet the criteria for Northern Ireland's RO grace period.

SSE also has plans for a wind farm development at Doraville (up to 115MW), a planning application for which is currently before Northern Ireland’s Department of the Environment. This project will not qualify for the RO.

Engaging in the ISEM reform process

Reform of Ireland and Northern Ireland's SEM market to comply with the EU Electricity Target Model continues, with regulators in each jurisdiction progressing the Integrated SEM (I-SEM) project. SSE remains fully involved in all stages of the ongoing design and implementation process for the new market which is due for introduction by the end of 2017.