EirGrid has completed its work in offering transmission grid connections to wind farms as part of the Gate 3 programme. The Gate 3 grid connection offer programme is one which has the potential to result in a three-fold increase in the amount of renewable energy on the electricity network and EirGrid has been working with the Commission for Energy Regulation and ESB Networks on the programme.
The final offer of 94 offers to connect to the transmission grid was issued by EirGrid to Coillte for a 58 MW Windfarm in Sliabh Bawn, County Roscommon.
The 94 offers issued by EirGrid under the Gate 3 Programme represent a total of over 5,400 MW of electricity to renewable and conventional generators – this would be more than Ireland’s peak demand load.
At over 4,000 MW, renewable energy generators make up nearly three quarters of all offers under the programme. There is currently approximately 1,500 MW of renewable energy connected to the system.
Completion of the programme represents a significant step towards meeting Ireland’s renewable energy targets. The Government has mandated that 40% of all electricity consumption must be met from renewable sources by 2020, the highest such target in Europe.
Dermot Byrne, chief executive of EirGrid, says: “I am delighted that this process has been completed on time. The amount of renewable energy connected to the grid has increased steadily over the past decade. In 2003 it accounted for just 4.4% of electricity usage whereas there is enough renewable generation on the system today to supply 15% of customer demand. Ireland is making good progress towards its targets.”