Energising Belfast Project

The project

SONI is the electricity transmission system operator for Northern Ireland. This means we plan for the future of the electricity grid and operate it every minute of every day. We ensure that everyone has power when they need it at the most economical price possible.

To prepare for a clean energy future, SONI must make the electricity grid stronger and more flexible. The grid will need to carry more power, and most of this power will come from renewable generation that varies depending on the weather.

What will the project involve?

There is a need to improve grid strength and resilience in Belfast, to ensure Belfast, its people and businesses have the clean energy needed to grow.

SONI’s current preferred option will deliver:

  • new 275/110 kV transformer at Castlereagh Main substation;
  • new substations at or near to Belfast North Main (off Whitla
         Street) and Belfast Central Main (off Little Patrick Street);
  • a new high-capacity underground cable connecting Donegall Main
         (near Broadway roundabout) to Belfast North Main (in Belfast Docks area)
         and Belfast Central Main (in the City Centre).

What are the benefits of this project?

Security and reliability of supply
This project will build a more resilient and reliable grid, making sure that everyone has power when and where they need it.

Preparing for future needs
These improvements will help meet the growing and changing electricity needs of Greater Belfast. This includes the electrification of transport systems, vehicles, heating and the development of housing, offices and large energy users.


Helping to deliver climate targets

This project will make sure that Belfast has the capacity and flexibility in the grid to handle greater levels of renewable energy, to deliver our climate ambition of at least 80% renewable generation by 2030.


Supporting economic growth
These improvements will support future investment, economic and population growth – aligning with the vision of the Belfast Region City Deal.