Eirgrid completes purchase of NIE's SONI


The national electricity grid operator, EirGrid, has announced that it has completed the purchase of the company that runs the electricity transmission system in Northern Ireland - SONI - for a reported €37.6m.

SONI was owned by Northern Ireland Electricity plc (NIE) and is responsible for ensuring the safe, secure and economic operation of the electricity transmission network in the Six Counties.

EirGrid and SONI are already partners in the Single Electricity Market Operator (SEMO) joint venture, which carries out the role of market operator for the all-island wholesale Single Electricity Market.

EirGrid said the sale is consistent with the agreement reached by NIE with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR) - "to divest SONI in order to further enhance the independence of the TSO in Northern Ireland in accordance with international best practice".

Completion follows changes to the licences of both SONI and EirGrid, which were approved by the regulatory authorities following a public consultation process.