Securing Capacity Contracts in Ireland to 2020

All units at SSE Generation’s four thermal generation plants operating in Ireland’s all-island electricity market have provisionally secured new Capacity Contracts to provide power to customers through to 2020. These include the Great Island CCGT plant (402MW) in Wexford, the Tarbert power plant (510MW) in Kerry, and two smaller peaker plants at Rhode in Offaly and Tawnaghmore in Mayo (96MW each)*.

Additionally, turbine units at four SSE Airtricity wind generation sites have secured provisional capacity contracts in the latest round. These include 12MW of wind generation at the Cuillagh (1.2MW) and Meentycat (7.3MW) wind farms in Donegal, the Gartnaneane (1.1MW) wind farm in Cavan, and the Kingsmountain (2.5MW) wind farm in Sligo.

The contract announcement has been made following the publication today by System Operators in Ireland’s Single Electricity Market of the Provisional Results in the latest round of the all-island Capacity Mechanism Auction process. This annual process is a feature of the new Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM) and was introduced last year ahead of the formal introduction of I-SEM which went live last October.

Of the 105 generating units that qualified to take part in the auction, 95 were successful. A total of €345 million of capacity payments will be paid during the period October 2019 to September 2020, up from €333 million in the previous year. Prior to the introduction of the auction process last year, annual capacity payments averaged in the region of €550 million.

This year’s auction has secured a total of 8266 megawatts (MW) of capacity, up from 7774 MW last year, at an auction clearing price of €40,645.66/MW per year.  The additional capacity is required to meet an increase in demand triggered by economic growth.

SSE’s thermal fleet already holds generation capacity contracts up to September 2019, which SSE successfully won in the first-ever Capacity Auction process which took place this time last year.

These latest contracts, which are subject to approval by the Regulatory Authorities, run for the 12 months from October 2019 to September 2020. Final results are expected to be confirmed by the System Operators on 1 February.


* A de-rating factor is applied to each station according to rules set by the System Operators and approved by the Regulatory Authorities.