The new All Island Electricity Market (I-SEM) was set to come into operation in May this year but has now been delayed by six months. This raises questions over what will happen to two power stations set to close this year. Both Huntstown CCGT in Dublin and Kilroot in Northern Ireland failed to secure capacity payments in the recent I-SEM auctions and signaled their intention to close down by the end of May. This would be disastrous for both Dublin and in particular Northern Ireland, which, with no replacement generation ready, would face the prospect of prolonged blackouts for the next year at least. With all the focus being placed on renewables and battery storage, there still has been no proper impact assessment (nor media coverage), now needed more urgently than ever, on how the Irish grid will cope without these power stations.
The blame for the delay in the I-SEM has been put down to software problems. Which is something this blog highlighted a few years ago - the increased administration costs and problems that could arise from the increased complexity of operating a grid designed around wind energy.