Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: SONI Ltd


John Simpson

By John Simpson

SONI Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of EirGrid plc, registered in Dublin. It is the licensed transmission system operator for electricity in Northern Ireland. SONI and Eirgrid plc operate the Single Electricity Market Organisation, covering the all-island electricity systems.

The company is delivering the implementation on the rules of the amended EU Third Energy Package covering cross-border trading. Later in 2018 the wholesale electricity market for the whole island will be reformed when the new integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM) is introduced, replacing the existing arrangements.

SONI is a private sector business which falls within the remit of the NI Utility Regulator. In February 2016 the regulator issued a final determination of the TSO Price Control for 2016-2020. Some of the details were subject to an appeal to the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority). The appeal was upheld on a number of grounds through a decision made in November 2017.

In the financial report for the year to September 2017, the company made an operating profit of £3.8m following an operating loss of £1.1m a year ago.

Operating revenue decreased by over £10m but the operating costs decreased by £13m.

SONI has taken a lead role in presenting the planning application for the new cross-border electricity interconnector for which a successful final planning decision has now been recommended.

Reflecting the recent widening responsibilities of SONI, the average number of employees increased from 112 in 2013 to 129 in 2015, and fell to 126 in 2017.

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