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Cable&Wireless wins contract to extend renewable electricity delivery

Cable&Wireless Worldwide are to add to Northern Ireland's green energy as part of a new contract.

The company announced it has renewed and extended its contract to manage the operational telecoms network used by System Operator for Northern Ireland (SONI) following an open competitive tendering process.

In addition to existing work, Cable&Wireless Worldwide will connect planned wind farms to the grid.

The global telecommunications giant expects some additional jobs to be created over the course of the project, however it is not yet clear how many.

In September, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster launched the Strategic Energy Framework, announcing that Northern Ireland intended to produce 40% of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.

She described it as "a challenge for those in the private sector involved in the supply and distribution of electricity."

She said: "The second North-South electricity interconnector will be crucial for increasing opportunities for trading wholesale electricity within the Single Electricity Market, as well as transmission of wind generation.

"It is very important for Northern Ireland that this new infrastructure is delivered."

As transmission system operator (TSO) in Northern Ireland, SONI operates the electricity transmission grid in Northern Ireland.

In co-operation with EirGrid, SONI also administrates the wholesale Single Electricity Market for the island of Ireland through the single electricity market operator (SEMO).