Clarity needed from Department and Regulator on I-SEM Delay – Beggs

Roy Beggs MLA has called on the Utility Regulator and the Permanent Secretary of the Department for the Economy to ensure that certainty is created for all Electricity Generators in NI follow the announcement by SONI that the new I-SEM electricity market is being delayed by 4 months.

Roy Beggs MLA said, “I am astonished to learn that a decision by SONI to delay the new Electricity market I-SEM by 4 months was made on 17th April without any explanation of its implications in terms the contractual payments for our Electricity Generators and their employees. The statement has been silent as to what alternative arrangements will be in place. To ensure stable electricity generation and supply to customers, there is a need for certainty going forward as to how electricity generation will be managed and paid for.

This is particularly relevant for my constituents working at AES Kilroot and on the Ballylumford B station Generating Turbine that was unsuccessful in the recent I-SEM auction which were expecting to cease generation on the 23rd May. Employees deserve some clarity from the regulator and the Department for the Economy. The lack of detail in the SONI press release shows little regard for the complex process of running power stations, generating electricity and ensuring a stable power supply for all customers in NI.

This also will have implications for Demand Side Units and smaller generators operating dispatchable Aggregate Generating Units. What payments be made to such companies as a result of the delay in the start date?

I have written to the Utility Regulator and the Permanent Secretary of the Department of the Economy calling for urgent clarity as to how our electricity generation will be managed until 1st October 2018.

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