Failure of power line hits profit at Eirgrid
NATIONAL grid operator EirGrid's profits plummeted last year due to a €570m power line between Ireland and the UK being out of commission for more than three months.
EirGrid said that profits for 2017 fell to €3.4m before tax, with revenues for the year standing at €579.4m.
"This (profit) was down from €7.9m in 2016 due to an unplanned outage of the East West Interconnector during the year," it said in a statement.
"The group is currently pursuing options with our contractor and insurers for the recovery of costs associated with the outage."
A fault occurred in September 2016 during maintenance works at a converter station in Meath. Replacement equipment had to be manufactured, installed and tested before the interconnector could resume service, which did not occur until late December that year.
The outage resulted in wind farms being told to stop producing electricity at certain times as the power could not be exported to the UK.
EirGrid is paid by generators who use the interconnector to export power to the UK, resulting in a substantial loss of revenue which hit the bottom line.
Nonetheless, chairman John O'Connor said there had been a number of "notable" achievements during the year.
"Whilst maintaining a secure supply of electricity we also increased the limit for variable power on the grid to 60pc, and that has grown to 65pc in 2018," he said. "This is a world record for an isolated electricity system." He added that 35pc of all power came from renewable sources between October last year and this February.