Lumcloon Energy, the company hoping to open a new power station just outside Ferbane, has this week accused EirGrid of delaying the project and has raised the issue in Brussels.
The company has employed a Brussels-based law firm, which has raised the issue with the Single Energy Market (SEM) Committee, which governs electricity on the island of Ireland.
It has called on the SEM Committee to investigate whether EirGrid is breaching EU Competition Law.
Lumcloon Energy said regulatory delays were affecting the construction of the new power station, which will provide 500 construction jobs over a 30 month period.
The plant, to be built on the site of the old Ferbane power station, has full planning permission from An Bord Pleanála and a 297.2mw allocation from the Commission for Energy Regulation.
Lumcloon is asking the SEM Committee to insist that EirGrid adhere to EU Competition law and provide a clear timetable to complete the DS3 Programme to allow Lumcloon proceed.
The DS3 Programme is an all-island programme run south of the border by EirGrid and which aims to deliver a secure sustainable electricity system.
Lumcloon first applied to build a power plant in Autumn, 2008. The company has held a number of recent meetings with Eirgrid and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to highlight its concerns but without resolution.
EirGrid has strongly refuted Lumcloon Energy’s claims and said this week that the arrangements to regulate system services in the power market, referred to in the statement, are the subject of a regulatory consultation process, and have not yet been finalised.
“Therefore EirGrid would strongly encourage anyone with views on the system services proposals to make submissions to the regulatory authorities. The proposals are designed to facilitate the addition of renewable energy and they provide incentives for flexible power plants,” stated EirGrid.
It added that the proposals have been the subject of a consultation process by EirGrid with market participants, including Lumcloon Energy.
EirGrid pointed out that it was established to operate the transmission system securely, reliably and economically. It stressed that it conducts its work in a fair and equitable manner and seeks to achieve benefits for all electricity customers.
“It operates in a fair and non-discriminatory fashion and fully in compliance with all laws, Irish and European. Any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded. This extends to all of EirGrid’s operations,” EirGrid concluded.
Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy said this week that she has been working on behalf of Lumcloon Energy for over two years and has arranged meetings with Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte and other state agencies involved in the project.
“The project is very important. It would see the creation of a large number of sustainable jobs in the area and I have been working tirelessly in my capacity as a public representative to bring the project to fruition,” she said.
“I want to continue to work with Lumcloon, Minister Rabbitte and EirGrid to help this project succeed and I ask all parties involved to come to the table with a solution-focused approach so that all parties can benefit.”