Statement on Storm Ophelia

16 October 2017

At present the Control Centre Operation team is focusing on maintaining a secure supply of electricity, as Sam Matthews, SONI’s Grid Operations Manager, explains:

"Our priority over the next 8-10 hours is to ensure that Northern Ireland has a secure supply of electricity. The system needs to be balanced at all times and even though wind levels are high, we cannot risk instability by relying on wind as our prime source of generation, this means we are predominately taking in power from conventional sources.

"While it is becoming increasingly stormy we know the wind will cut out at some point and so to ensure the system is balanced, we have had to hold back some of that wind. In normal circumstances we would accommodate between 60-70% wind generation on the island, which is world leading, but we are in emergency conditions and are prioritising the stability of the grid at the moment."

For further information, please contact:

Natasha Sayee, SONI, 028 9070 7845/

The System Operator for Northern Ireland (SONI) is responsible for the safe, secure, efficient and reliable operation of the high-voltage electricity system in Northern Ireland (NI). Part of the EirGrid Group since 2009, SONI is the licensed independent electricity Transmission System Operator (TSO) and licensed Market Operator (MO) of the Single Electricity Market (SEM) wholesale trading system. SONI is responsible for planning the transmission network across NI. It manages all types of generation connected to, or seeking to connect to the transmission system.