For the first time, small renewable energy generators in Ireland will be able to sell electricity on the Single Electricity Market (SEM), the wholesale electricity market across the whole island of Ireland.
The SEM's decision marks the first time that a fully community-funded renewable energy company has entered the Irish market under the name Community Renewable Energy Supply (CRES) and is a sister company to Templederry Community Wind Farm in Tipperary, Ireland’s only operational community owned wind farm.
Speaking on the decision to open up the market to smaller-scale renewable energy generators, Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency, who have worked with CRES, said: “This is a significant day for Ireland and for small renewable energy generators. Previously, small generators of electricity did not have the option to sell their power. Because of their size, suppliers were unwilling to enter into a Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with them.
“As a result, the electricity they were generating was being spilled into the national grid for free. Small scale renewable energy generators will now be able to sign PPAs. Regardless of size, they will have the opportunity to receive a fair payment for electricity exported to the grid. To date, this has ranged from 6kW micro wind turbines to a 150kW hydro turbine. All sizes of renewable generators are welcome”.
Small wind turbine image via Shutterstock