PPC forced to sell ‘excessive electricity amounts’ for NOME auctions

Electricity amounts made available by the power utility PPC for NOME auctions during the first few months of 2019 exceeded the utility’s output generated by lignite and hydropower sources, chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis has told company shareholders.

“In other words, PPC is obligated to provide to third parties electricity quantities that do not only stem from lignite and hydropower sources, but other fuel sources as well, such as natural gas, as well as renewables,” Panagiotakis contended.

Electricity amounts provided by PPC for NOME auction usage in 2018 represented 77 percent of the utility’s total lignite and hydropower production, according to the PPC boss.

This level of commitment is the cause of major losses for PPC, Panagiotakis told shareholders.

NOME auctions were introduced about three years ago as a means of offering independent players access to PPC’s lower-cost lignite and hydropower sources.

Recipients purchase electricity at low prices and then sell abroad, the PPC chief said, adding that electricity demand in Greece fell by 1.2 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, to 57,122 GWh.

However, overall electricity demand, including exports, rose by 2.2 percent as a result of a 75.2 percent increase in exports – primarily NOME-acquired amounts by third parties –  through northern grid interconnections, Panagiotakis added.

NOME auctions have not helped open up the market to greater competition as PPC’s market share contraction in the retail electricity market dropped to just 81.9 percent in 2018 from 86.7 percent in 2017, the PPC chief noted.