Small offering for next NOME auction prompts reaction

Electricity market players, especially vertically integrated companies, have raised objections to a subdued electricity amount of 240 MWh/h decided on by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for the year’s first NOME auction, scheduled for January 23, as well as the failure, so far, by authorities to decide on export restrictions concerning electricity amounts acquired at these auctions.

The complaints were expressed in a letter forwarded by ESAI/HAIPP (Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers) to RAE, energypress has been informed.

RAE plans to reserve bigger electricity amounts for later in the year, including 604 MWh/h for the year’s final NOME auction, expected in October. The authority is obviously holding back as it awaits the outcome of the main power utility PPC’s bailout-required sale of lignite units, now in progress.

Independent electricity suppliers fear the small quantity decided on for the year’s opening session, combined with Greece’s elevated System Marginal Price (SMP) and higher wholesale electricity prices in Europe, will intensify bidding competition and prompt further NOME price hikes on January 23.

NOME auctions were introduced in Greece over two years ago to offer independent players access to PPC’s lower-cost lignite and hydropower sources for more competitive pricing policies.

Though the European Commission has already provided permission for the implementation of NOME-electricity export restrictions, RAE has yet to reach a decision, despite launching a public consultation procedure on the matter prior to the previous session late last year.

RAE has divided 1,444 MWh/h into four NOME auctions for 2019. The amount represents 22 percent of the country’s total electricity consumption, as stipulated in the bailout agreement, plus 171 MWh/h, the remainder of a penalty addition prompted by PPC’s failure to reach a market share contraction target set for the first half of 2018.

If all goes well with PPC’s sale of the Megolopoli and Meliti power stations included in its bailout-required investment of lignite assets, then the NOME amount will be reduced to represent 13 percent of Greece’s total electricity consumption.

PPC was well over a 62.24 percent market share contraction target set for the end of 2018 and needs to reduce its share to 49.24 percent by the end of this year.