The Commission for Energy Regulation, CER, is required, under section 9 of the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, to have regard to the need to secure that all reasonable demands for electricity by final customers are satisfied, in addition to promoting the continuity, security and quality of supplies of electricity.
I have been advised by the CER of the need to obtain at least 300 megawatts of centrally dispatched, large-scale plant by 2005 in order to meet generation adequacy requirements. This projected capacity requirement has been identified in the most recent forecast statement, entitled Generation Adequacy Report 2003-09, which was published by ESB national grid in November 2002, in accordance with section 38 of the Electricity Regulation Act 1999.
The CER, in exercise of its responsibilities, announced on 20 December 2002 that, following extensive consultation and having examined a number of options, it was of the view that the most appropriate approach to securing additional capacity is to award a contract to one or more successful bidders, through a competitive process for the purchase of 300 megawatts to 400 megawatts of electricity. The CER is also of the view that ESB, operating as the public electricity supplier, PES, is best placed in the market to offer such a contract.