An energy firm to watchPublished on 15/01/2017
The company which spotted that the wholesale cost of power went negative one morning last month is probably the most interesting Irish energy firm you’ve never heard of. Electroroute reported that for three half hour periods on December 9, suppliers were being paid to take electricity off the grid. The wholesale cost plunged to minus €85 for a MWh which equates to about minus 7 pence a kWh.
Most customers won’t see any evidence of a drop in their bills but those businesses who pay the floating price of power may observe a wee cut in a very detailed invoice. The negative pricing came about because, during a period of low demand, an excess of wind generated power threatened to destabilise the system.
So what’s the background to the firm that spotted the anomaly? Electroroute started trading in the Irish and GB power markets in 2012 using the Moyle Interconnector. The following year they entered the Dutch electricity market. And their expansion has continued, They now trade power in six different Continental countries, including German, Italy and France.
Electrocute also manage energy assets. They will be selling the output for example of Mayo Renewable Power, a 42.5 MW CHP biomass plant being built at the former Asahi site in Killala. Similarly the company has also announced it will be trading power from two wind farms under construction, 35.6 MW Glencarbry in Tipperary and 36 MW Dromadda More in Kerry.
All in all the firm reports that it now has 600 MW of assets under management. Its business model has won it admirers, Last October Japanese giant Mitsubishi took a 60% per cent stake in the firm.
Originally based in Letterkenny and starting with just four people in 2011, the company is now headquartered in Dublin with a staff of over 40. Two of the founders, CEO Ronan Doherty and Head of Proprietary Trading Alan Mullane have PhDs in engineering. It has an annual turnover of €350 million.