Eirgrid’s revenues rise 31%, helped by €8.7m insurance settlement

Power-grid operator received payment after fault in interconnector with Britain

Mark Foley, chief executive of Eirgrid. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Mark Foley, chief executive of Eirgrid. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

 

Eirgrid, the semi-State power-grid operator, received an insurance settlement payout of €8.7 million last September concerning its interconnector with Britain not operating for three months in 2016.

The payment is revealed in Eirgrid’s 2018 annual report, which shows it contributed to revenues soaring by 31 per cent to €758.43 million in the 12 months to the end of September last.

Eirgrid recorded pre-tax profits of €65.8 million for the year. According to the annual report, the company’s profits increased “as a result of higher-demand related regulated tariffs collected during the year”.

Eirgrid approved a €4 million dividend to the State, the same level as in 2017. The insurance settlement payout concerned the east-west interconnector (EWIC) linking the grids in Ireland and Britain, which was out of commission “due to a fault that occurred when the interconnector was being returned to service following the annual maintenance outage”.

The payout was made up of €8 million lost revenue and €0.7 million for additional costs.

Revenues from Eirgrid’s EWIC last year totalled €60.14 million and delivered a pre-tax profit of €20.4 million. This compared with revenues of €29.84 million and pre-tax losses of €12.4 million in 2017.

Staff costs

The annual report shows 93 employees at Eirgrid earned more than €100,000 including 16 who earned more than €150,000.

A further 83 employees earned between €75,000 and €100,000. Key management personnel made up of the board of directors, the chief executive and six members of the executive team shared €1.45 million in remuneration last year.

Staff costs last year declined from €51.3 million to €49.73 million.

In his report, Eirgrid chief executive, Mark Foley stated: “Over the coming years we estimate that growth in electricity demand in Northern Ireland will be modest, while in [the Republic of] Ireland electricity demand is increasing significantly. This is due to growth in the economy, population growth, new investment in infrastructure and industry and strong growth in new data centres.”

Mr Foley stated that Eirgrid’s analysis shows that demand from data centres will most likely increase by a factor of four between 2016 and 2020 “and a significant proportion of this extra load will materialise in the Dublin region”.

Mr Foley stated that the network around Dublin will require significant reinforcements over the next five years. In 2018, 15 new wind farms were connected to the grid, providing a total of 325 megawatts of renewable energy.