Robin McCormick, General Manager, SONI
"At SONI our priority is ensuring Northern Ireland has a secure, reliable electricity supply delivered at the least possible cost to consumers.
"As directed by the Utility Regulator, SONI carried out an assessment of the impact of the early closure of two large generating units at Kilroot and two large generators at Ballylumford. This followed commercial decisions by AES to request permission from the Utility Regulator to allow the early closure of these units.
"Our analysis was clear that if all four units were to close sooner than the standard three year notice period, there would be significant impact to the power system which would mean security of supply could not be maintained.
"SONI’s analysis identified the need for two of these units to be retained for a twelve month period, to support system stability and to allow for a number of planned outages for maintenance at power stations across Northern Ireland. In addition, our current power system restoration plan includes Kilroot as an important site.
"A contract has been agreed between SONI and AES, and the recovery of costs has been approved by the Utility Regulator."