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Sell your electricity

Power NI is keen to encourage the uptake of renewable energy in Northern Ireland so we have arrangements in place where we can reward renewable energy generators (and CHP) for:

  • NIROCs (Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation Certificates) on electricity which is generated by a renewable source.
  • exported electricity (i.e. electricity which you generate but don’t use on the premises).

These arrangements are called the Power NI Generation Contract but please note that Power NI can only offer these arrangements in Northern Ireland. The following sections explain the options available from Power NI for export and ROCs for different sizes of renewable energy generators. 

Export

If your generator is up to 50kW (single rate)

For renewable energy generators up to 50kW, Power NI publishes its prices for export in October each year and this helps you to work out the expected income you can earn for the year ahead. This means that Power NI takes the risk out of fluctuating energy prices for smaller generators and can give certainty when calculating payback periods. The current single rate export tariff is:

Tariff from 1 October 2013 – 30 September 2014  
Generators up to 50kW 5.59p/kWh

Metering

You must have a Grid Connection Agreement in place with Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) in order to export to the electricity network. You can request an NIE Generator application pack (G83/G59) by email via the NIE website: www.nie.co.uk/Connections/Generation-connections. An import/export meter must be fitted by NIE, not Power NI. If you need an import/export meter then this will be triggered by you completing and submitting the NIE Grid Connection Agreement. Someone from NIE will then contact you directly to arrange an appointment to change your electricity meter.

Current customers can click here for how to read your import/export meter.

The diagram below helps to explain the metering arrangements which form part of your renewable energy installation.

 energy offer diagramPayment

Export payments will be paid annually to generators of 10kW or less – generators over 10kW can choose a quarterly or annual payment Payment for export will be made by Power NI directly into your bank account; it will not appear on your electricity bill. A meter reader will continue to read your electricity meter so that a bill can be issued for the amount of electricity you have bought from Power NI. We will contact you to request the export meter reading either at the end of each September or at the end of every quarter, depending on the size of your installation. As soon as we receive the export meter reading, we will arrange payment for you. We will give you plenty of notice to take the meter reading and we would prefer you to submit your meter reading via email.

If your generator is over 50kW

Power NI is offering a market tracking product to generators between 50kW-250kW which means that we will apply half hourly export metering data against electricity market prices. Generators will receive a value for their exported electricity which will reflect the prevailing underlying wholesale price of electricity. Installations over 250kW will be able to negotiate bespoke contracts with Power NI for their export and ROCs so please email renewable@powerni.co.ukfor more information.

Metering

All generators over 50kW must have a half hour on-line meter, which records the amount of electricity exported every half hour. The installation of a half hour online meter will be triggered by the completion of an NIE Generation Connection application pack.

Power NI will pay you on a monthly basis through a bank transfer for your exported electricity based on data received from your half hour meter (your half hourly meter data will be sent to Power NI and will be applied against half hourly market prices for each month). Any generator over 250kW will enter into a negotiated contract with Power NI and terms will be discussed on an individual basis so please contact us to discuss.

Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation Certificates (NIROCS)

The Renewables Obligation is the main support scheme for renewable electricity projects in the UK. It places an obligation on UK suppliers of electricity to source an increasing proportion of their electricity from renewable sources. A Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) is a green certificate issued to an accredited generator for eligible renewable electricity generated within the United Kingdom and supplied to customers within the United Kingdom by a licensed electricity supplier. One ROC is issued for each megawatt hour (MWh) of eligible renewable output generated. The Renewables Obligation (Northern Ireland) Order came into effect in April 2005 and the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) was introduced by the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI).

The NIRO has been subject to regular reviews and the day to day functions of administering the NIRO are performed by Ofgem. Ofgem, based in London, is responsible for the process of accrediting renewable energy installations and issuing Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation Certificates (NIROCs) to generators in Northern Ireland. Power NI is an Ofgem Agent for generators up to 50kW so we can help smaller generators to get accredited with Ofgem and to manage the ongoing NIROC administration on their behalf. From 1 April 2010, DETI introduced an increase in NIROC banding levels for some renewable energy technologies. Existing generating stations will remain on double NIROCs, while stations accredited on or after 1 April 2010 may be able to avail of the higher ROC bandings and relevant payments as shown in the table below: The current ROC unit price is:

Tariff from 1 October 2013 – 30 September 2014  
1 ROC for generators up to 50kW 4.24p/kWh
  Banding Level Agent customers Non-agent customers
(up to 50kW)
Existing Microgeneration 2 ROCs 8.48p/kWh £84.80/MWh
Wind Up to 250kW 4 ROCs 16.96p/kWh (up to 50kW) £169.60/MWh
250kW – 5MW 1 ROC n/a £42.40/MWh
Photovoltaic (PV) Up to 50kW 4 ROCs 16.96p/kWh £169.60/MWh
50kW – 5MW 2 ROCs n/a £84.80/MWh
Hydro Up to 20kW 4 ROCs 16.96p/kWh £169.60/MWh
20kW – 250kW 3 ROCs 12.72p/kWh (up to 50kW) £127.20/MWh
250kW – 1MW 2 ROCs n/a £84.80/MWh
1MW – 5MW 1 ROC n/a £42.40/MWh
AD Up to 50kW 4 ROCs 16.96p/kWh £169.60/MWh
50kW – 500kW 4 ROCs n/a £169.60/MWh
500kW – 5MW 3 ROCs n/a £127.20/MWh
Biomass Up to 50kW 2 ROCs 8.48p/kWh £84.80/MWh
50kW – 5MW 1.5 ROCs n/a £63.60/MWh

Power NI Generation tariff rates 2013/2014

Power NI’s Generation Tariff currently offers an annual fixed price for ROCs and export for generators up to 50kW. Both prices are considered and approved by the Utility Regulator each year.

The ROC price is based on a rolling 3 year average price (as forecast by Cornwall Energy) and a shared percentage of the ROC buyout and recycle value. The ROC price is subject to fluctuation each year but Power NI endeavours to offer customers as stable a price as possible because we understand that choosing to install a renewable technology is a significant investment. The ROC price for 2013-2014 is slightly lower than last year and this is mainly as a result of lower ROC prices in the UK ROC market during the last 12 months as well as a lower ROC price forecast.

Accreditation

From 1 April 2011, microgenerators (up to and including 50kW) seeking first time accreditation under the NIRO (for onshore wind or solar photovoltaic panels) must use the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or an equivalent certification scheme accredited under EN 45011, the European Standard for Product Certification. Each new application for NIROCs must include a copy of the MCS certificate associated with the installation ie, the certificate which was issued by the MCS approved installer. For more information about Ofgem’s requirements then please refer to the guidance notes. For renewable energy installations, you must agree to sell Power NI the NIROCs (and other green benefits such as LECs and REGOs) as well as any exported electricity (if applicable) associated with your installation. 

If you are 50kW or less then Power NI can act as your Agent to help you manage your ROCs (we recommend this option for generators below 50kW)

  • Assisting with your Ofgem application
  • Dealing with any queries from Ofgem relating to your application
  • We submit your meter readings on your behalf and Ofgem
  • Paying you for your ROCs per unit of electricity you generate

*Please note that Power NI is unable to act as your Agent if your generating station is over 50kW*

Application Process

If you would like to appoint Power NI to act on your behalf as an Ofgem Agent you will need to complete the agent appointment form and covering letter which we will send you as part of the application pack. As well as the agent appointment form and covering letter please provide us with a schematic diagram of your generation station and a copy of your Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certificate (your installer will provide you with these documents). Once we receive all of this information, we will submit it to Ofgem to get the accreditation process started. You must have an Ofgem approved generation meter installed to measure the total generation from your installation. If you do not have a suitable meter installed you should contact your installer who can arrange this for you.

Receiving payment for ROCs

Ofgem insist that generation meter readings are taken on the 31st March each year so we will send you a reminder to ask you to take your generation meter reading at the end of March. Power NI will then send all the generation meter readings together to Ofgem at the end of May. ROCs are usually issued by Ofgem towards the end of June and Power NI will then arrange a bank transfer for the appropriate amount to all Agent customers (usually mid-end July each year depending on when the ROCs are issued by Ofgem). Payment cannot be arranged until the ROCs have been issued and this is entirely outside Power NI’s control – Ofgem is entirely responsible for issuing the ROCs.

Current customers can click here for how to read your generation meter.

If you will be carrying out your own Ofgem / ROC administration (above 50kW)

You can find a user guide here. You will need to have an approved Ofgem generation meter installed to measure the total generation from your installation. If you do not have an approved meter installed you should contact your installer who can arrange this for you.

Receiving payment for ROCs

If your system is 50kW or above, you have two choices from Power NI in terms of receiving payment for your ROCs:

  • Power NI will give you a percentage of the buy-out and recycle fund each year or
  • Power NI will auction your ROCs on your behalf.

You will be responsible for taking a meter reading from your generation meter at the end of March each year or at the end of each month, depending on the size of your system. You will need to submit the meter reading to Ofgem who will then issue ROCs to you on a MWh basis. They will round up or down the amount of generation to the nearest MWh, for example, 500kWh will be rounded up to 1 NIROC and less than 500kWh is rounded down. ROCs are issued by Ofgem three months in lag so, for example, you will receive June ROCs in September. For larger generators who submit monthly readings to Ofgem, a monthly transfer of NIROCs from your account to the Power NI NIROC account will trigger a bank transfer for the appropriate amount. For generators under 50kW who are managing their own NIROC administration, Ofgem will issue the appropriate number of NIROCs into your NIROC account and then you can transfer them to the Power NI NIROC account so that payment can be arranged through bank transfer (usually mid-end July).

How to apply to Power NI.

To get an application form for the Power NI Generation tariff please provide us with the following details so that we can decide which application form is most appropriate for your installation: As part of the application process for generators under 50kW, Power NI will need you to take meter readings from both your generation meter and export meter so that we can open your account on correct meter readings.

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