At SONI, we are making the grid ready to carry at least 70% of Northern Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, an ambition set out by the Department for the Economy in its Energy Strategy Consultation.
In order to achieve at least 70% clean electricity by 2030, SONI needs to add more energy from renewable sources, such as wind and sun, to the power system. This means that the electricity grid will need to carry more power from energy sources that vary depending on the weather. This power will also need to be carried over longer distances.
As a result, we need to make the grid stronger and more flexible. To help decide how best to do this, SONI has created four draft approaches to developing Northern Ireland's grid in order to reach the 2030 clean electricity target.
During 2021 we conducted a comprehensive public consultation, engaging through traditional and innovative methods to make sure all voices were heard. We have now published the findings of this work which maps out our plans to help meet Northern Ireland's renewable targets.
The four approaches in Shaping Our Electricity Future comprised the following:
Each of the four approaches require investments in grid development projects throughout Northern Ireland, with costs ranging from £113 million to £535 million.
Between Monday 8 March and Monday 14 June, SONI held a series of online workshops, meetings and fora across the country to inform people and gather feedback that will directly influence the final roadmap.
In addition to this, SONI launched a new consultation portal at consult.soni.ltd.uk that hosted the consultation material and acted as an accessible platform for people to submit their views.