SONI Publishes Provisional Results of T-1 Capacity Auction (October 2020 – October 2021) for the Single Electricity Market

05 December 2019

Belfast, December 6th, 2019 - SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) has published the provisional results of the latest T-1 capacity auction for the Single Electricity Market. 

The auction is a key element of the market and is designed to deliver wholesale electricity at the least possible cost. It also encourages new, efficient power plants into the wholesale electricity market.

The auctions are run by SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) and EirGrid in their roles as Transmission System Operators in Northern Ireland and Ireland respectively, through the joint venture SEMO (Single Electricity Market Operator).

The auctions were designed by the electricity regulators in Northern Ireland and Ireland to ensure sufficient capacity is secured to meet demand across the island. 

This auction known as a ‘T-1’, as it secures capacity a year ahead, closed on November 26th. Through this auction, sufficient capacity was procured to meet security of supply for the period October 2020 – October 2021.

A total of £317 million in capacity payments will be paid to generators providing electricity to the all-island system during this ‘auction year’ (October 2020 to the end of September 2021), £84 million of which will be paid to Northern Ireland generators.

The T-1 auction has secured a total of 7,606 megawatts (MW) of capacity for the island, with 1873 MW of this capacity being in Northern Ireland.

The auction clearing price was 41,672 £/MW per year.

Rodney Doyle, General Manager SEMO (Single Electricity Market Operator), said: “We have now completed our fourth Capacity Auction since introducing these competitive auctions in 2017, which are designed to procure safe and secure generation at the lowest possible cost.

“The auction price has been very stable in the first four Capacity Auctions, which tells us that the Market is operating as it should.”

The capacity required from the auction took into account peak demand, security of supply, as well as the reliability and performance of generators, and a range of demand forecasts and interconnection. 

A total of 156 MW of new capacity was successful in the auction coming from 278 MW of new capacity which qualified for this auction.

Gas turbine generation makes up 4,557 MW of the capacity secured through the auction, while steam turbines represent 1,771 MW, Interconnectors and Demand Side Units are 419 MW and 415 MW respectively and there is a small amount of pumped storage, hydro, other storage and wind power.

The provisional results are available in the Provisional Capacity Auction Results Report

The following documents are also available on the SEMO website:

T-1 2020-2021 Capacity Market Auction Overview
T-1 2020-2021 Provisional Auction Results Quick Guide