Speaking at the IEWA Annual Conference, EirGrid Director of Operations Fintan Slye announced that that the island of Ireland now has over 2GW of installed wind farm capacity on the system.
That is enough power capacity to supply the needs of up to 1.3 million households on the island, depending on weather conditions. This is compared to just a quarter of that capacity connected a decade ago.
According to Fintan Slye, "Ireland and Northern Ireland have huge renewable energy potential and EirGrid is committed to ensuring this potential is developed throughout the island as a whole. We now have over 2GW of installed wind and are at times operating with wind supplying 50pc of the total demand on the island, one of the highest percentage renewable energy penetration levels of wind on any power system. Meeting our 2020 targets will mean that, at times, the amount of wind energy being generated in Ireland and Northern Ireland will be up to 75pc of total demand. This increase of wind on our system has required extensive innovation and planning and further changes will be required to meet the challenges that 75pc of wind penetration brings in areas such as system stability, resource flexibility and altered power flows."
"EirGrid is responding to these challenges in a number of ways; though the planning and development of transmission infrastructure, increased interconnection and the development of smart grid technology. This flexibility and innovation is creating positive results. I note and very much welcome the comments made by the Minister for Communications, Mr. Pat Rabbitte TD, when he opened this conference yesterday, where he highlighted the need to deliver critical infrastructure in order maintain a viable and effective market."