All Island Market Project


The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, and his Northern Ireland counterpart, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, affirmed their respective Governments’ commitment to an all-island energy market on 23rd November 2004.

This was followed in January 2005 with the first in a series of round table discussions between the regulatory authorities in the two jurisdictions and the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) in the Republic of Ireland.

The Regulators have agreed a set of principles that will underpin the development of a single wholesale electricity market on the island.

A formal Memorandum of Understanding was signed in June 2005 by the transmission systems operators in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.View Memorandum of Understanding for All Island Market

On 12th April the RA’s signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining further cooperation between the two energy regulators as well as a strategy for progressing the liberalisation of the electricity markets on an all island basis.

View the Memorandum of Understanding

View the Press Release that accompanied the MoU

The All Island Market has delivered

  • A larger, single market with competitive electricity prices.
  • Open and transparent competition at all levels in the marketplace.
  • Greater security of supply.
  • Greater energy efficiency.
  • A more stable and attractive investment location.
  • Sharing a potentially more diverse energy mix.
  • Consequential improvements to the competitiveness of the wider industrial sector.

As part of the wider All Island Project, the All Island Wholesale Market (known as the ‘Single Electricity Market’ went live on November 1, 2007.

ESB Networks All Island Project

ESB Networks (ESBN) established the ESBN All Island Project (AIP) to:

  • Meet the data provision needs of the SMO and the SEM market settlement
  • Deliver any changes required as a result of market design changes to the existing Retail Market Solutions.
  • Ensure that changes are made on time to the metering code arising from SIMDRACS deliberations. The most significant impacts were related to the MRSO Data Processing and Aggregation function. In addition to these, changes arising from the new Data Model for SEM led to changes in the Registration function.

At the highest level there are three change initiatives which impact the ESB Networks solution:

  • The Single Electricity Market Programme which is implementing the required changes for the new market design and is managed by the SMO.
  • Changes to the processes for Non-Participant Generators were reviewed by CER
  • The possible introduction of Global Aggregation in Republic of Ireland, currently being reviewed by CER







Regulatory Authorities

The Regulatory Authorities continue to manage the process of determining and agreeing market rules.

SEM Implementation

The SEM Implementation has been established to deliver the required systems and processes to support the Single Market Operator under the SEM.


The SIMDRACS project has been established by the Regulatory Authorities to ensure that the relevant wholesale metered data communications are in place to facilitate settlement of the SEM by November 2007.


SEM Implementation of Metered Data Reading, Aggregation, Communication and Storage.

The participants in the SIMDRACS project were:

  • The Regulatory Authorities
  • SONI
  • NIE T & D
  • ESB Networks
  • ESB National Grid
  • SEM Implementation Team

The key areas of scope being managed via SIMDRACS were to:

  • Co-ordinate the delivery of all metered energy data across all four Metered Data Providers to the SEM central market systems under the timelines for SEM Settlement;
  • Co-ordinate the description of meter operation standards across all Metered Data Providers and feed into the Grid Code / Metering Code Harmonisation work streams;
  • Co-ordinate the decision and timeframe for ESB PES metered data aggregation under SEM.

The SIMDRACS project has drafted a Memorandum of Understanding which determined the scope, timelines and roles and responsibilities for each of the above parties.

The definition of wholesale market requirements was managed by the CER and the SEM and issues associated with this definition were raised to them, using the SIMDRACS forum. ESB Networks were able to raise issues in this regard for resolution by CER and SEM. The wholesale market was subject to a design freeze from June 2007 until SEM implementation.

A draft discussion document entitled “Impact of AIP on ROI Retail Market” was issued to the Market in early June 2006. All key design issues were included in the second draft of the document and a walk through of each of the issues was held at a special IGG on June 22nd 2006. Feedback was received from Market Participants and the SIMDRACS Co-Coordinator. New requirements were received for the Regulatory Authority and a review of design issues was carried out by ESB Networks.

ESB Networks AIP Programme formally wrote to CER/SIMDRACS to get agreement to proceed with the detailed design based on what had been discussed with the IGG.

The SIMDRACS Board held a meeting on August 18th 2006 to discuss the updated draft document received from SIMDRACS and also the updated Baselined Requirements documents from SEMIT.

Next Steps

A set of change requests to facilitate the Single Electricity Market were baselined by the IGG.

Click here to see SEM Market Change Requests.

Inter-Participant Testing commenced on 13th August 2007.

The Single Electricity Market went live on November 1st 2007.