East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs, has called on the Regulator and the Permanent Secretary of the Department for the Economy to ensure that certainty is provided for all Electricity Generators in Northern Ireland following the announcement by SONI that the new I-SEM electricity market is being delayed by four months.
Roy Beggs MLA said;
“I am astonished to learn that a decision by SONI to delay the new Electricity market I-SEM by four months was made on the 17th April without any explanation of the implications in terms of the contractual payments for our Electricity Generators and their employees.
“The statement issued by SONI 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 and which were expecting to cease generation on 23rd May. Employees both deserve and need 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 Northern Ireland.
“This situation will also have implications for Demand Side Units and smaller generators operating dispatchable Aggregate Generating Units. What payments will be made to such companies as a result of the delay in the start date?
“I have written to the regulator and the Permanent Secretary of the Department for the Economy calling for urgent clarity as to how our electricity generation will be managed until 1st October 2018.”