The current operating portfolio consists of the Edenderry co-fired power plant, the Cushaling peaking plant, the Drehid landfill gas facility and wind farms in Mountlucas, Bruckana and Bellacorick. Powergen is currently developing Sliabh Bawn, a 64 megawatt (“MW”) wind farm located in Co. Roscommon, through a joint venture with Coillte, and Oweninny, a 172 MW wind farm in Co. Mayo, through a joint venture with ESB.
Obtaining planning permission for large infrastructure projects is a significant challenge which is likely to adversely affect the planned timelines for delivery of key infrastructure investments, including wind farms. The Edenderry plant is currently operating under a temporary High Court stay until 14 October 2016, pending a decision by An Bord Pleanala in respect of our application to extend planning permission for the plant until 2030.
Current low System Marginal Prices for electricity are adversely impacting the profitability of the Edenderry power plant. The unfavourable outlook for electricity prices and likely reduction in the Capacity Payment Pot following the planned introduction in 2018 of the Integrated Single Electricity Market have resulted in the decision to impair the carrying value of the Edenderry power plant and the Cushaling peaking plant by €17.5 million and €6.1 million respectively in the FY16 financial statements.
A key focus in recent years has been engaging with local communities on major infrastructural energy projects through ongoing public consultation, to address their concerns and meet expectations on all projects. This engagement, though beyond statutory requirements, has been a very positive step in real and meaningful consultation and we plan to continue to invest in this.
Developing our portfolio of renewable generating assets is a key strategy for the business. While we continue investment in projects based on wind and biomass, we are investigating the potential development of large scale solar projects on Bord na Móna lands. We are delighted to have signed the MOU with ESB to explore this further.
John Reilly, Head of Powergen Development
Tom Egan, Head of Powergen Operations