EIL Searches for Commissioning Energy Partner in Building Electricity Link Between UK and Ireland



EirGrid plc, the independent electricity Transmission System Operator in Ireland, is building a new electricity link called the East-West Interconnector (EWIC) between the electricity grids of Ireland and Great Britain (GB), through its wholly owned subsidiary EirGrid Interconnector Limited (EIL).

It is due for completion in 2012.The East-West Interconnector will undergo commissioning in Q3 2012. During commissioning, the East West Interconnector will not be open to trade in the market.

However power is required to support transfer in both directions to execute all necessary tests. For that reason EIL is searching for a commissioning energy partner or parties who shall take care of the necessary energy needs to execute all commissioning tests.

A commissioning energy partner, EirGrid Interconnector Limited, is in search of a commissioning energy partner for the provision and usage of energy in Great Britain during the East West Interconnector commissioning period (~8 weeks). During commissioning, electricity is required to support transfers from Ireland to Wales and vice versa. The energy for import to SEM has to be procured in GB and the energy for export to GB has to be sold in GB.

Prior to seeking expressions of interest in this project EIL wishes to undertake a market sounding exercise to solicit opinions in relation to the pricing approach and contractual structure of this relationship and any other issues, which parties deem relevant, including but not limited to:

*Determining the potential cost of commissioning energy;

*Determining the most cost effective time and method to commission from a SEM and BETTA market perspective;

*Ways of reducing the cost of commissioning energy;

*Ways of mitigating against market risk and unplanned commissioning events;

*Understanding how a commissioning energy partner would interact with EIL during the commissioning process;

*Potential ongoing arrangements for power consumption during zero market transfers.

EIL would like to discuss with interested parties their views and interest in partnering with EIL for the commissioning of the East-West interconnector.

Desirable experience:

*Previous Commissioning experience;

*Electricity market experience (BETTA, SEM, etc);

*Experience in the provision of energy.

The East-West Interconnector consists of two HVDC Light ® cables utilising voltage source converter technology, with a joint total capacity of 500 MW.

The connection will be built between Rush North Beach, Co. Dublin in Ireland and Barkby Beach, North Wales in Great Britain. The converter stations will be located at: Woodland, Co. Meath, Ireland, and Deeside, North Wales, Great Britain.

Scheduled date for start of award procedures is 21.11.2011

Source: EIL, September 02, 2011;


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