NOME auction regulation revisions possible following requests

Certain regulations proposed for the upcoming NOME auctions, which could be introduced late in October, not this month as originally planned, are likely to be revised following recommendations expressed through the recent public consulation procedure.

One change concerns high-voltage customers. LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, appear willing to increase a 40 percent quota set on the amount of electricity that may be offered through the auctions to high-voltage industrial consumers. Two scenarios are possible. The quota could be drastically increased to 80 percent or entirely removed.

A second detail headed for a revision is an export limit placed to avoid mass NOME-related energy export activity. During the public consultation procedure, HAIPP, the Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers, requested a drop in a limit of 20 percent proposed by LAGIE. Competition authorities appear to have objected to the limit. It could be scrapped.

Also, the auction procedure, which seems to favor sellers as no limit has been set on the number of bids that can be submitted, is another concern. Local market players have expressed their disapproval because they fear prices could be artificially boosted. They want a limit imposed to eliminate such a prospect.

Once the NOME auction regulations have been endorsed, LAGIE will need to act fast and establish a new secondary market and finalize all other requirements to launch the auctions by the end of October, at best.

The upcoming NOME auctions are intended to provide third parties with access to main power utility PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources as a measure to help break the utility’s market dominance.