PPC-related penalty added to year’s NOME auction amount

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has decided to increase the overall NOME electricity amount to be offered over four auctions in 2019 by adding 520 MWh/h to the scheduled 1,444 MWh/h tally as a penalty for the main power utility PPC’s failure to reach an end-of-2018 market share contraction target.

The year’s auctions are planned to start with a modest electricity amount of 350 MWh/h at 2019’s opening session, scheduled for February 8, according to a just-released Energy Exchange chart detailing the distribution of amounts over the year’s four auctions.

Authorities are believed to have decided on a small electricity amount for the opening session so as to enable a reduction of bigger amounts set for the year’s three ensuing auctions if PPC’s ongoing bailout-required disinvestment of lignite units succeeds.

Independent suppliers have already reacted against the distribution plan for the year after interpreting this approach as a form of further protection for PPC.

The NOME auctions were introduced over two years ago to offer independent players access to PPC’s lower-cost lignite and hydropower sources as a means of intensifying competition in the retail electricity market, still dominated by the state-controlled power utility.

According to the Energy Exchange chart, 355 MWh/h has been planned for the year’s second NOME auction on April 17, 500 MWh/h is scheduled for a July 17 auction, and 767 MWh/h for 2019’s fourth and final auction on October 16.