Today the Utility Regulator is publishing its decision in relation to a request from AES Ballylumford Limited to close two of its generating units early. This is a derogation from their duty to give a notice period of three years before they exit the market.
Speaking about the decision, Jenny Pyper, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator said:
“The first ISEM capacity auction, which ran in December 2017, was successful in securing the capacity needs of Northern Ireland, from generation in Northern Ireland. However, following the auction, we were then faced with a legally valid derogation request from AES to close all four units at Ballylumford and Kilroot.
“Our statutory duty means that we had to work through these derogation requests and seek an expert technical assessment from SONI on the likely impact on Northern Ireland’s electricity system if all or some of the units were to close. As a result of SONI’s assessment and subsequent system services contract with AES, we have granted the derogation request for the two units at Ballylumford.
“Throughout this process, our focus has been to protect the short and long-term interests of electricity consumers. The outcome provides certainty, system stability and safeguards electricity security of supply.”