About half of all electricity in Northern Ireland is used by just 374 I&C customers; this is 0.6% of the total I&C customers. These 374 customers are the engine room of NI manufacturing industry. The Electrical Grid is not fit for purpose - it was largely constructed in the 50’s and 60’s and has a legacy of underinvestment. The cost and supply of upgrades is directed at large users to reduce domestic pressures.
Smart-Grid is a system that can supply business, industry and householders in a local area with electricity and potentially heat at a lower unit cost and with lower connection costs than the conventional power grid. This can help maintain and encourage development of business and industry thus maintaining and increasing employment. It can also help combat domestic fuel poverty for connected households.
To help develop a new focus for the delivery of more cost effective energy, Council is investigating the development of a micro-grid, built for and developed to create more energy within the Causeway Coast and Glens area. The aims include addressing the shortcomings in grid distribution, development of a means of supplying cheaper electricity and decreasing distribution cost and increasing distribution efficiency.
Council is currently investigating the potential for a micro-grid demonstration project, in conjunction with private sector partners, and in line with EU funding sources. A strategic outline case has been presented to Council, and the next steps include the development of an implementation action case, and outline business case.
If you would like to find out more about the Smart Grid project or other renewables development in the area, contact the Prosperity and Place Unit on 028 7034 7045.