There will be sufficient electricity generation capacity this winter to ensure security of supply for customers in Ireland and Northern Ireland, an EirGrid and SONI study predicts.
The Winter Outlook Report 2010/2011 examines the capability of the generation portfolio available to EirGrid and SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) to meet the peak demand from customers in each jurisdiction between November 2010 and March 2011.
The report looks at the areas of capacity, generation performance and electricity demand and is based on analysis by EirGrid and SONI and on information from generating station operators.
It estimates that there will be 9,078 megawatts of electricity generation capacity in Ireland and Northern Ireland to meet estimated demand from customers of 6,440 megawatts.
According to the report, this outlook is an improvement from previous years and is primarily due to a drop in demand linked to economic conditions, and also due to the commissioning of new power plants at Aghada and Whitegate in Cork and at Edenderry, Co Offaly.
Traditionally, more electricity is consumed in winter than in summer, due to shorter days and colder weather.
In terms of wind generation, there is currently 1,740 MW of wind capacity connected, with the report predicting that an additional 350 to 450 MW will connect up to the end of March 2011.
Fintan Slye, director of Operations at EirGrid, said: “Maintaining reliability and security of supply is critical to the economy and EirGrid, as transmission system operator, works closely with electricity generators and demand customers to ensure delivery of this 24/7. We will continue to manage and monitor the system carefully.”
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