SONI hits 70% variable renewable electricity instantaneous target

22 January 2021

Tackling climate change means changing the way electricity is produced and used and as the Electricity System Operator for Northern Ireland, SONI has a key role in this transformation.​

It is our responsibility to ensure a safe and reliable supply of electricity; but we also have a central part to play in delivering Northern Ireland’s clean energy ambitions.​

We  are pushing the boundaries of the possible to integrate world leading amounts of electricity from renewable sources onto the power system, while carefully managing security of supply.​

At times, the electricity powering homes and businesses can be made up of up to 65% wind and solar, but we need to increase this and so we are now trialling 70% of variable electricity from renewable sources at any one time.  ​

This is a significant engineering challenge and as such it is a work in progress, but we are pleased to say that we hit that target last weekend.

Our trial will last three months and during this period, we will be challenging ourselves and our systems to consistently operate at 70% when there is enough variable renewable energy available, to allow us to do so.  ​

While the energy transition is underway, we will still rely upon a mix of generation sources  to allow us to maintain the secure and high quality supply that Northern Ireland consumers expect. 

This is a positive development and is evidence of our commitment to transform the power system for future generations.​

We’re stepping up.​