NIE wins UK Utility Achievement Award

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE), in partnership with electricity supplier Power NI, has taken one of the top awards at the Annual Utility Industry Achievement Awards.  The Award for IT Initiative of the Year was presented at a gala dinner in London, attended by representatives from all the finalists, and some of the world’s leading organisations and business people.

NIE and Power NI won the award for the ‘Enduring Solution’ project, to prepare the electricity market in Northern Ireland for competition. This was the culmination of a four year design, procurement and delivery programme, which commenced back in 2008. The work involved replacement of existing IT systems shared by both companies, including a 40 year old legacy mainframe billing application.  The project, which was delivered on time and on budget, enabled the introduction of full retail competition for electricity customers in Northern Ireland in May 2012. 
As the electricity market operates on an all-island basis there had to be harmonisation between the systems in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  The Enduring Solution project successfully created the first harmonised retail market between two jurisdictions in Europe, supporting EEU competition policy.
Joe O’Mahony, NIE Managing Director sees the award as an endorsement for a partnership approach to projects.  “We are delighted to have won this Utility Industry Achievement Award.  To take the top honours in a category that includes Anglican Water and Scotia Gas Networks shows that Northern Ireland can compete with companies that are leaders in their field. 

“This award is a welcome recognition that NIE is playing a leading role in investing in the technology and infrastructure that Northern Ireland needs to underpin its economic growth.  I should also like to pay tribute to all the exceptional people in NIE and the partner companies who have made this award possible.”
NIE and Power NI worked with teams from Wipro, Northgate Managed Services, ESB and Neueda. At the peak of the project there were over 400 staff deployed between Antrim and locations at Bangalore and Pune in India, all working to a very challenging time line.
Eugene Maguire from Power NI said:  "This award is great recognition for both NIE and Power NI.  For our part, we are very proud that this project was delivered on time and on budget, an exceptional outcome for such a major IT project.  The benefits to Power NI customers include the fact that the new systems help us improve the products and services that we can offer.”