Statement on Capacity Market Auction and Viridian

30 January 2018

EirGrid is working the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) to ensure that if Viridian is to close both of its generation plants at Huntstown, it is done in a manner that does not affect security of electricity supply in Dublin.

Viridian has indicated that it wishes to exit the all-island electricity market following the recent Capacity Market Auction. One of the two Huntstown generators was successful in the auction.

EirGrid has assessed that to meet the projected demand forecast for the period May 2018 to September 2019, the period covered by the auction, there is adequate capacity to meet the security of supply standard in the Dublin area.

There will be further auctions this year where generation units will have more opportunities to bid.

EirGrid has met Viridian and will be assessing its request for a derogation from the requirement to provide three years’ notice for the closure of the Hunstown plants.

The EirGrid “Grid Code” requires generators to give three years’ notice if they intend to close a generation plant with a capacity of 50 megawatts or greater. The closure process is in place to ensure that there is an orderly withdrawal of generation capacity to maintain security of supply.

The request for a derogation will be assessed by the regulator and EirGrid.

There is currently a surplus of generation in the all-island electricity market during the period May 2018 to September 2019. The assessment of the derogation request will ensure an orderly exit from the market.

The recent capacity auction run reflects the diversity of generation participating in the single electricity market, such as demand side units.

Crucially, it ensures that enough generation is on the system to meet the security standards determined by the reSingle Electricity Market Committee. There were 100 bidders in the auction, of which 93 were successful.

The regulatory authorities have estimated that the auction process will result in savings to consumers of approximately €200 million across the island. There will be further auctions this year where units will have more opportunities to bid.

EirGrid is confident that the generators who have been successful in that auction process will provide safe and secure generation at the lowest possible cost.