In 2003 the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) – the Irish energy regulator – identified the requirement for new generation capacity in Ireland from 2005-2006 onwards. A capacity competition for between 300 MW and 531 MW of new capacity was run in 2003. TEL was one of two projects awarded preferred bidder status in November 2003 (the other being the Aughinish Alumina project). Successful bidder status was achieved by Tynagh Energy the following month, with the key contracts signed on 24 December 2003. These are:
- The Implementation Agreement (IA) with the CER, which governs the framework for implementation of the project; and
- The Capacity and Differences Agreement (CADA) with the Electricity Supply Board of Ireland (ESB), which is the offtake agreement.