Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
934. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a new wind farm located here that feeds its electricity into the Northern Ireland grid will be able to qualify for funding under the proposed new renewable electricity support scheme; if not, if contractual arrangements that provide for the power to be sold on from the Northern Ireland grid to end users here would ensure that the electricity produced can qualify for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6237/20]
The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) is an auction based framework whereby renewable electricity projects compete to receive a guaranteed support price for the electrical energy they produce. The first RESS auction is underway and the qualification window closed on 30 April 2020.
The terms and conditions of the first RESS auction states that eligible projects must be geographically located in the Republic of Ireland (section 6.4.11 refers) and have either (i) an existing grid connection agreement with ESB Networks or EirGrid or, (ii) be eligible to receive a grid connection offer from these system operators under the Enduring Connection Policy-1 (section 6.4.5 refers). Therefore, the project referred to is not eligible to compete in the first RESS auction. For clarity, it is noted that if a project is connecting into another jurisdiction then the grid connection offer would be issued by the relevant system operator in that jurisdiction.
The RESS support is linked to the individual project successful in an auction, therefore, support payments are only made for energy produced by RESS projects. However, other routes to market and contractual arrangements may be open to such projects, such as corporate power purchase agreements.