The DS3 programme (Delivering a Secure, Sustainable Power System), aims to meet the challenges of operating the electricity system in a secure manner while achieving the renewables targets set in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.

With increasing amounts of variable renewable generation, there is a need to ensure that the power system can continue to be operated securely and sustainably. Through the successful completion of the DS3 Programme the operational limit on non-synchronous generation (ie level of renewable generation that can be on the system) may be increased to 75%.

Our key objective is to ensure that the interests of the all-island customer are protected throughout the programme. It does this through:

  • Oversight of TSOs activities;
  • Review of the impact and appropriateness of the various options and proposals put forward by the TSOs;
  • Making key decisions on TSO proposals/ recommendations which will only be implemented after consultation with industry stakeholders; and
  • Ensuring consistency across SEM activities and that the full implication of all actions proposed by the TSOs is considered.

The programme is now in its latter stages and has been a driver in the successful progression of SNSP increases from 50% to 65% since 2015. Facilitating additional renewables on the grid should support lower wholesale energy prices, which achieves a good outcome for consumers as well as supporting Ireland and Northern Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy. This can already be seen in the day-ahead market where increased wind generation has been placing downward pressure on prices.