N Ireland regulator to okay GBP 44m green power infrastructure boost
Dec 18, 2012 - Northern Ireland’s Utility Regulator Tuesday unveiled plans to give the green light to over GBP 44 million (USD 71m/EUR 54m) in investments aimed at boosting wind power generation in the north and western regions.
The funding is to back upgrades of the country’s electricity grid to allow the connection of up to 1,000 MW of new wind power capacity.
The biggest part of the funding, or GBP 26 million, will be spent on boosting the capacity of the Tamnamore substation in order to allow the connection of new renewable energy projects to the grid. Another GBP 2.6 million will be invested in upgrades to the Kells-Coleraine circuit and GBP 1.25 million will be used to cover pre-construction costs for a third circuit between Omagh and Tamnamore. The remaining GBP 14.75 million will be allocated for the completion of the capital works.
Northern Ireland currently has some 451 MW of wind generation capacity online, while a further 550 MW has been approved for construction.
Shane Lynch, chief executive of Utility Regulator, said that the investment programme would give a big impulse to Northern Ireland’s target of achieving of 40% renewables share in electricity demand by 2020. The mentioned 1,000 MW of wind power capacity are estimated to be able to cover 27% of electricity demand in 2020, Lynch added.