‘Disruption’ plan will not be implemented until March

Although officials at IPTO, the power grid opearator, are pressing ahead with technical and regulatory matters concerning the “disruption management” plan – to enable energy cost savings for major-scale industry in exchange for shifting energy usage to off-peak hours whenever required by the operator – the plan’s first monthly auction will not take place until February, meaning the “disruption” plan will not be implemented until March, energypress has been informed.

The possibility of the operator staging auctions within January with the aim of introducing the “disruption management” plan in February has been ruled out.

The ministry’s “disruption” plan was published in the government gazette on December 30, 2015, but IPTO still needs to complete various details, including the establishment of a registry, model contracts, and an auction mechanism, These cannot be delivered within January.

As for the amount of electricity to be offered through auction procedures, energypress sources informed that IPTO intends to fully utilize the upper limit offered through the “disruption” plan’s ministerial decision and offer 500 MW in the first month and continue with 1,000 MW in the following months.

This prospect has not been embraced by renewable energy source (RES) producers, as highlighted in a letter forwarded by SPEF, the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers. RES producers believe that the IPTO auctions should not even come close to offering upper-limit amounts if excess electricity capacity exists in the grid.

The delay in implementing the “disruption” plan has troubled energy-intensive industrial enterprises, which do not appear willing to sign any individual electricity supply contracts with the main power utility PPC until the “disruption” plan has been implemented. Industrialists are holding back because new tariffs will lead to greater electricity costs, which may be tolerated by heavy industry only if offset by a coinciding “disruption” plan.

The new electricity supply contracts for industrialists are intended to replace the abolition of a 20 percent discount offered. During preliminary talks staged ahead of a PPC extraordinary shareholders meeting in early December, certain major industrialists had indicated they would sign new electricity supply deals, PPC officials were inclined to believe.