Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Questions (308)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

308. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the number of grid offers that have been made under Gate 3 by EirGrid; the total value of these contracts; the number of applicants that have accepted and paid for offers; the number that are outstanding and in dispute with EirGrid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11778/14]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

At the end of 2013 the total amount of renewable generation capacity connected to the grid was around 2,300 MW. It is estimated that around 4,000 MW of renewable generation capacity will be required to allow Ireland to meet its commitment of 40% of electricity demand being met by electricity generated from renewable resources by 2020. This is necessary to meet our overall target of 16% of our energy demand being met by renewables by 2020.The issuing of grid connection offers under the Gate 3 process was largely concluded towards the end of last year.

Oversight of the Gate process is vested in the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). Operation of the process is carried out by the independent system operators, ESB Networks as the Distribution System Operator, and EirGrid as the Transmission System Operator. I am advised by EirGrid that the total number of grid connection offers made by the system operators under Gate 3 was 162. This equates to 5,327 MW of generation capacity and includes both renewable and conventional generation projects. To date 140 applicants have accepted their offers. This equates to 3,697 MW of generation capacity, the bulk of which is renewable. A further 14 grid connection offers are still live. This equates to 1,037 MW. The remaining 8 connection offers, which equate to 593 MW, have lapsed. This information is available on both the EirGrid and ESB websites.

I understand that the full cost for a developer of connecting to the grid is a combination of many factors, only one of which is the cost of connection charge payable by each developer to the relevant system operator. Therefore, the full cost of connection to the grid for an individual developer varies greatly according to the nature of each connection, and, consequently, is not known to the system operators.

Questions Nos. 309 and 310 answered with Question No. 296.