Power utility PPC’s prospects for some type of compensation in the foreseeable future, either through the Strategic Reserve Mechanism for the corporation’s withdrawal of units from the market and availability for back-up services, or for the utility’s earlier-than-planned closures of lignite-fired power stations, appear to have dwindled.
The reduced likelihood of any such compensation money for PPC became apparent at a meeting yesterday between energy minister Kostas Skrekas and the European Commission’s Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, also Brussel’s Commissioner for Competition.
Progress was made on an antitrust remedy, through which PPC will soon begin offering rival suppliers lignite-based electricity packages, but the same cannot be said of the strategic reserve.
Vestager made clear, during yesterday’s session, that a strategic reserve plan proposed by the Greek government cannot be approved by the European Commission. Instead, she noted, a new grid sufficiency plan, one aligned with EU directives, will need to be prepared to enable the implementation of an acceptable mechanism.
Subsequently, a strategic reserve plan must be prepared from scratch, incorporating, besides PPC’s facilities, the demand response mechanism.
According to estimates by some officials, Brussels’ approval of a finalized strategic reserve proposal, requiring considerable work, could take as long as a year.