All-island wind energy generation hits record high

Robin McCormick, General Manager, SONI, at the electricity grid control centre in East Belfast

Robin McCormick, General Manager, SONI, at the electricity grid control centre in East Belfast

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Electricity generated by wind energy resources hit an all-time high today (Wednesday), providing 60% of all electricity generated on the island.

Early this morning wind generation peaked at 2,815 megawatts (MW) on the island (at 7.15 am), surpassing the previous high of 2,683 MW on January 28th last year.

Robin McCormick, General Manager at SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland), said it was a real accomplishment for the electricity grid operator and its sister in the Republic, EirGrid: “Last night and into this morning we saw record levels of wind generation providing electricity across the island, which is good news for consumers.

“Managing this level of wind energy on the system presented significant technical challenges for SONI and our colleagues at EirGrid, who run the electricity grid in the Republic.

“Dealing with wind generation of this scale on a small, island electricity grid hasn’t been done anywhere else in the world and so this is a huge achievement for SONI.

“We’ve been working hard towards utilising these types of conditions, analysing data and using all of our expertise to harness ever increasing amounts of wind. We will continue to optimise the electricity system in the hope that we can continue this trend, which is ultimately about reducing the cost of electricity for the consumer,” he said.

Wind-generated electricity accounted for 60% of electricity usage overnight and into early this morning across the all-island system; with wind producing 47% of all electricity used in Northern Ireland during the same period.