Peabody, Mass. – February 7, 2007 – LODESTAR Corporation, a leading developer of software for the energy industry, today announced that Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE), the major energy supplier in Northern Ireland and a subsidiary of Viridian Group, has selected the LODESTAR® Customer Choice Suite™ (CCS™) software to help meet the requirements of Ireland’s Single Electricity Market (SEM) by November 2007.

This year, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are moving to a single electricity market. Beginning in November, all market participants –Generators and Suppliers - will be required to operate within the mandatory Pool market. A new market design brings new market rules and timelines for bidding and settling energy transactions.

To ensure that the SEM functions effectively, NIE requires a data aggregation system that manages generation and consumption information from a full range of generator and consumer categories to provide to the Single Market Operator and Market Participants. This system must aggregate metering data from a variety of sources into a format consistent with the settlement requirements of the All-Island Market Operator.

As a result of these unique and stringent requirements, NIE chose the LODESTAR CCS after a rigorous selection process.  Through its extended meter data aggregation, load profile and settlement capabilities, the LODESTAR Profile & Settlement System (LPSS), a solution which has been successfully deployed in multiple global markets for some of the most challenging data aggregation and settlement processes, is perfectly suited to provide NIE with the required performance, flexibility, and scalability.

The LODESTAR CCS will be configured to accommodate Northern Ireland-specific profiling of non-interval metering data and to provide the aggregation results for both interval and non-interval metered customers – the Market Participant metered ‘position’ - for both the Single Market Operator and Market Participants. The generated information will be a critical piece of the All-Island Market, allowing the Market Operator to produce settlement results on Market Participants’ positions and provided services. The system will be in a position to support aggregation processes for up to 800,000 customers in Northern Ireland.

“The Single Electricity Market initiative poses a number of technical challenges to our business,” said Caroline Murphy, GM, Group Technology, NIE.  “Of particular importance to NIE was LODESTAR’s proven track record in delivering its solution rapidly to meet challenging market-opening timescales.”

“The selection of LODESTAR by NIE continues to demonstrate that our long history in energy data management, data aggregation and settlement is a competitive differentiator,” said Julien Grouès, European vice president and managing director, LODESTAR.  “We are delighted to play such a central role in supplying the All-Island utilities market by providing the required solutions to easily meet all customer and regulatory requirements.”  

About LODESTAR Corporation
LODESTAR is a leading provider of energy software solutions. Our customers include 125 of the largest energy companies in North America, Europe, and Australia. LODESTAR Corporation’s headquarters is at Two Corporation Way in Peabody, MA 01960 USA. LODESTAR and LODESTAR’s other marks are either trademarks or registered trademarks of LODESTAR Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such.

About Viridian Group
Viridian Group, the Irish energy business, owns Energia, Huntstown Power, Northern Ireland Electricity and Powerteam Electrical Services. The Group has a turnover of circa £1 billion / €1.5 billion and employs around 1,500 staff.  

Viridian has played a leading role in promoting an all-island electricity market in Ireland.  Viridian’s strategy is strongly focused on Irish energy markets, maximizing the efficiency of its regulated electricity infrastructure in Northern Ireland and growing an integrated energy business in competitive markets across Ireland backed by its investment in power generation.

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) owns and manages the Northern Ireland electricity infrastructure, which connects 785,000 customers via a network of 45,000 km (28,000 miles), of which 32,000 km (20,000 miles) are overhead lines. NIE Supply retails electricity to around 770,000 domestic and small business customers.

Contact:           

Michael DiLorenzo
617.233.4812
Michael_Dilorenzo@lodestarcorp.com

Robin Greer
Corporate Communications
Viridian
+44 (0) 28 9068 9178.