Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: SONI Ltd


By John Simpson

SONI Ltd is the licensed transmission system operator for electricity in Northern Ireland. It is indirectly a wholly owned subsidiary of EirGrid plc, registered in Dublin.

SONI and EirGrid plc operate the Single Electricity Market Organisation, covering the all-island electricity systems, north and south.

In keeping with the rules of the amended EU Third Energy Package covering cross-border trading, in mid-2018 the wholesale electricity market for the whole island will be radically reformed when the new integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM) will replace the existing arrangements.

SONI is a private sector business, as is EirGrid, but it falls within the regulatory remit of the NI Utility Regulator. In February 2016 the regulator issued a final determination of the TSO (Transmission System Operator) Price Control for 2016 to 2020.

In the strategic report, the directors show that, after an operating profit in the year to September 2015 of £9.4m, in the most recent year there was an operating loss of £1.1m.

While operating revenue increased by nearly £3m, the cost of sales and other operating costs increased by £13m. The report offers no comment on particular reasons for this contrast although it may partly be the adjustment consequences following an earlier period of over recovery in regulated revenue.

SONI has responsibility for planning the main electricity transmission system, which is owned and managed by NIE.

SONI has taken the lead role in presenting the planning application for the new cross-border electricity interconnector.

Belfast Telegraph