SONI, the electricity transmission system operator for Northern Ireland, has launched a consultation on the Transmission Development Plan for Northern Ireland (TDPNI).
The Transmission Development Plan outlines SONI’s plans for the strategic development of the electricity transmission network, so that our electricity grid is more resilient and capable of facilitating future increases in demand.
The proposals detailed within the Transmission Development Plan outline essential upgrades to the electricity grid in Northern Ireland which will help to improve reliability and strengthen the electricity network. It will also help to bring the cost for consumers down over time as it will enable us to bring more cleaner, renewable sources of electricity onto the system and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. This will help to deliver our climate targets of 80 renewable generation of electricity by 2030, and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The Transmission Development Plan outlines SONI’s action plan for the next ten years, which will be reviewed, updated, and consulted upon every two years.
Commenting on the plan, Alan Campbell, Managing Director of SONI said:
“At SONI we are focused on investing in and improving the transmission grid, so that everyone has access to the power they need, when they need it.
“The Transmission Development Plan for Northern Ireland (TDPNI), 2023-2032 is our blueprint for preparing the grid for future growth and a cleaner energy future. It outlines the essential projects that we intend to deliver over the next 10 years to support our renewable targets, and to guarantee a secure, reliable electricity supply that is fit for the future.
“As we strive to achieve the transition to net zero, we need to ensure the transmission grid has the capacity and flexibility to handle greater levels of renewable energy. This is crucial if we are to achieve our climate ambition of at least 80% renewable generation by 2030.”
Eimear Watson, Head of Networks NI at SONI adds:
“The plan highlights the areas of opportunity to develop the Northern Ireland power system over the next 10 years to help meet our green energy goals and ensure reliable and affordable energy in the years to come.
“Collaboration is key to the process and through this consultation we want to provide everyone with the opportunity to view and submit feedback on our proposals. We encourage you to have your say on the proposals by providing your insights and expertise before the consultation closes on 22nd December.”
The Transmission Development Plan for Northern Ireland is an ambitious project that involves a £630 million capital investment over 10 years. It proposes several essential upgrades to the electricity network including:
- Modernising parts of the grid in Greater Belfast, so its people and businesses have the power they need to grow
- Upgrading the transmission system in County Antrim, to increase the amount of clean energy we can transport from where it is generated to where it is needed
- Strengthening the grid in the North West and Mid Tyrone areas to support economic development and to facilitate decarbonisation of Northern Ireland’s electricity supply
- Bolstering interconnection with GB and ROI by increasing capacity of the Moyle Interconnector and constructing a new North South Interconnector
- Collaboration is a critical part of the process, and SONI is keen to gain feedback and insights from local businesses and communities on the proposals set out in the Plan. Following the consultation process, SONI will collate and analyse all information received and submit the final TDPNI to the Utility Regulator for review.
To make a submission, visit consult.soni.ltd.uk. The consultation will remain open until 22nd December 2023.