EirGrid has been honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony in Arizona by international renewable energy group UVIG. An EirGrid team, led by Jonathan O’Sullivan, received the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG) 2017 Annual Achievement Award for its work in redesigning Ireland’s electricity system so that it can handle large amounts of wind energy.
The team’s programme of work is designed to ensure that EirGrid can securely operate the power system with increasing amounts of variable wind generation over the coming years. Ireland’s target under the EU Renewable Energy Directive is for 16% of the country’s total energy consumption to come from renewable energy sources by 2020. In order to achieve this, the Government set a 40% renewable electricity target. Achieving this level of renewable integration is unprecedented and presents significant challenges for the real-time operation of the power system.
The EirGrid team was recognised at an event in Arizona last week. EirGrid chief executive Fintan Slye said: “We are delighted that EirGrid has been recognised for our accomplishments on the international stage. These awards showcase international best practice and innovation and this award is recognition that what we are doing here in Ireland compares favourably with our peers and colleagues around the world”.
Mark Ahlstrom, President of the UVIG board of directors, said: “We are firm believer in international cooperation, and are very proud of our international membership and the innovations that are being implemented throughout the world. One of my more pleasant responsibilities as the president of UVIG is to recognise the significant accomplishments of our members across the energy industry. This year, it is even more rewarding to give many of the awards to our international members.”
· Northeast China Grid Company – Zhang Jiankun, Liu Yongqi, Zhang Hongpeng, Du Shibo – for the design and operation of the first electricity market in China.
· US Department of Energy Wind Program – Charlton Clark – for visionary leadership of the US DOE Wind Integration Program and sustained contributions to international collaboration.
· ISO-New England – Gordon van Welie – for sustained leadership in transmission planning and market design evolution to accommodate a diverse future resource mix in ISO-NE.
· EirGrid – Jonathan O’Sullivan, Seamus Power, Shane Rourke, Eoin Kennedy – for contributions to electricity market redesign in consideration of a high renewable energy penetration future.
· Electric Reliability Council of Texas – Dan Woodfin – for sustained leadership in the integration of a large share of variable generation into ERCOT system operations.