“We’ve been operating in conjunction with EirGrid in the south of Ireland to operate on a whole island basis,” explains General Manager of SONI, Robin McCormick. “We’ve gone through an organisational change from a parent company perspective. One of the things we’re doing is looking at how best we can integrate into that new group of companies.”
SONI faces the potential for the increase of wind power generation which could mean that by 2020 Northern Ireland could be coping with around 1500 megawatts of installed wind farm generation and in the Republic of Ireland the figure could reach 4500. That’s a total of 6000 megawatts, which on an island system would mean that the government’s target of 40 percent for consumption from renewable sources in the Republic would be achieved.
“The potential increase in renewables, particularly wind generation on the island of Ireland, is probably one of the most significant challenges we face and is the one which will have the greatest impact on the business, right across the various facets of it.”
SONI is set to pioneer Ireland into integrating renewable wind energy into an island system, and the eyes of all Europe will no doubt be looking on, wondering whether to make the same economically conscious leap.