Grid25 will help Ireland’s economic recovery, EirGrid says

19 Apr 2012

EirGrid CFO Aidan Skelly with chairperson Bernie Gray and chief executive Dermot Byrne at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin. Image by Maxwells

EirGrid has released the findings of its annual report in Dublin, where chairperson Bernie Gray said the Grid25 update of Ireland’s electricity grid would provide a platform for economic recovery and benefit all regions.

Revenue across the group for the financial year to 30 September 2011 increased to €470.7m, from €443.8m the previous year. Meanwhile, operating profit rose to €30.3m, compared to €15.7m in 2010.

As part of its Grid25 programme, a €3.2bn investment in Ireland’s electricity grid, EirGrid said it completed around 80km of new circuits in 2011, while it upgraded more than 300km of existing circuits.

EirGrid said 160km of new circuits were at an advanced construction stage and are expected to be completed this year.

“A stronger grid will provide benefits to all regions of Ireland,” said Gray.

She spoke about the completion of the East West Interconnector in September that will connect Ireland with the UK and allow the country to participate in that marketplace and beyond into Europe.

EirGrid chief executive Dermot Byrne said business and job creation would benefit from the East West Interconnector, as well as Ireland, which will be in a position to compete in energy export markets and to develop its renewables portfolio.

“The first auction for capacity on the East West Interconnector will take place this summer, and this will enable Ireland to develop a new and indigenous sector – the energy export market. We have plenty of potential to develop our renewable energy resources here,” said Byrne.

Just last week, EirGrid also announced a €500m investment in a new electricity link between Munster and Leinster. Public consultation on the planned electricity grid link-up is now open to the public.

“This, alongside other current or planned projects, will enable Ireland to have a 21st-century grid, modern enough and flexible enough to cater for the requirements of future generations,” said Byrne.

As for the East West Interconnector, this will bring an additional capacity of 500 megawatts of power to be traded in both directions when it comes on-stream for its September target.

EirGrid said benefits would include increased competitiveness, enhanced security of supply and the facilitation of renewable energy.

EirGrid also revealed results on SEMO, the Single Electricity Market Operator, that operates the single electricity market on the island of Ireland.

It said SEMO oversaw the processing of energy invoicing and settlement totalling about €2.36bn, as well as processing capacity settlements of €547m.

In terms of wind energy, EirGrid said it accounted for about 17pc of total customer demand across the island. The target in both jurisdictions is to reach 40pc by 2020.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic