Roy Beggs MLA who had energetically highlighted concerns about the stability of NI’s Electricity supply should Kilroot’s turbines stop generating, has welcomed the agreement retaining electricity generation at Kilroot Power Station:
Roy Beggs Said, “The systems support services agreement as a result of discussions by the Utilities Regulator, SONI and AES is good for the stability of our electricity supply yet, I am that aware that
downward pressures have been applied to Kilroot’s generating costs, which will benefiting consumers. This seems like a sensible solution for NI.
In the absence of planning approval for the N/S Inter-connector and alternative new generating capacity there would be risks to the security of supply over the next few years. BREXIT has added further uncertainty to I-SEM, the single electricity market. I welcome this rethink by the Utilities Regulator and SONI who have recognised the risks to the stability of the NI Electricity supply, if Kilroot’s 500MW turbines were to permanently close. These tough negotiations took much longer than I had expected.
This arrangement should provide increased competition in next year capacity auction and perhaps additional competition during the T-4 tendering process for a new additional generator.”
The aging Ballylumford B station turbines were originally due for closure on 31 Dec 2015. They had continued to provide generating capacity for the past 3 years, but now their turbines will now finally stop turning leaving only the CCGT Station generating electricity at Ballylumford.
Roy Beggs MLA said, “The workers and families affected will be devastated at the loss of employment. I have already spoken to the AES and urged that this smaller reduction in employment would be managed using a voluntary redundancy process. I would hope that it can be managed without a compulsory redundancy system that had originally been feared.
Local rate payers had also faced a large increase in rates, had Kilroot closed. This new arrangement with the loss of some local rates, will be much less that had been expected and so will also be better for local ratepayers.”
Notes to the editor:
Over the past year, local East Antrim MLA, Roy Beggs and colleague Steve Aiken MLA have had numerous meetings with senior staff in the Department of the Economy, the Utility Regulator and SONI expressing concern at the risk to NI electricity supply were Kilroot to close.