ACER questions DESFA proposal for network charges

ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, has questioned, if not rejected, Greek gas grid operator DESFA’s proposed formula for calculating gas network charges, needed as an adjustment to the European Commission’s new TAR, or regulation establishing a network code on harmonized transmission tariff structures for gas.

ACER recently offered its view on the DESFA proposal through a consultation procedure staged by RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The DESFA proposal includes a basic charge as an addition to revenues recovered from main transmission system charges as well as a Revythoussa LNG terminal entry-point discount for fairer market conditions.

RAE needs to reach a decision by May 31 on new network usage tariffs to apply as of January 1, 2020.

 

Spot market upper, lower limits would distort target model, EVIKEN warns

Industrial sector officials have warned that an Energy Exchange proposal for upper and lower limits in the spot market’s day-ahead and intraday markets, forwarded for consultation by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, would lead to target model distortions.

The target model is aiming for market coupling, or harmonization of EU wholesale markets, in order to unify energy markets.

Though RAE acknowledges bailout terms do not permit the imposition of any upper or lower limits for offers and prices in these markets, the authority has put forward upper and lower limit proposals noting a need for a smooth transition towards the target model without any extreme price fluctuations.

EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, has responded by forwarding a letter that argues such price limits would neither comply with existing terms nor prices determined by decisions at ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.

The proposal would lead to severe market distortions by limiting the free setting of market prices and also delay the Greek market’s coupling with the Italian and Bulgarian markets, EVIKEN stressed in its letter.

 

RAE adamant on its Crete link plan despite Brussels objection

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, appears adamant about its recent decision to appoint Greek power grid operator IPTO as project promoter of the Crete-Athens grid interconnection despite objections from the European Commission, insisting Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading a wider Greek-Cypriot-Israeli PCI-status interconnection project, remains in charge of the Crete-Athens segment.

Latest developments in the dispute indicate RAE will push ahead with details concerning its decision to place IPTO at the helm of the Crete-Athens link within the next fortnight. These details include the provision of an environmental license to IPTO and the assembly of a technical team to work on the Crete-Athens link’s compatibility with the wider project.

In comments to energypress, RAE officials said the authority will push ahead as planned, contending its actions to date comply with EU laws and regulations. The Greek energy authority took action following a report delivered by ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, which confirmed the PCI-status project was two years behind schedule, the RAE sources added.

The concerns of Greek officials are focused on a looming energy sufficiency threat on Crete as of 2020, when high-polluting diesel-fueled power stations operating on the island will need to be withdrawn.

It remains unclear if the dispute will bring together Greece’s energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete for higher-level talks on the matter.

 

Compromise reached for Crete-Athens link, tender soon

Greek power grid operator IPTO will remain at the helm of the Crete-Athens grid interconnection, as its project promoter, all sides involved appear to have agreed at a meeting in Brussels yesterday.

The development is in line with the overall position maintained by energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, who has been shown a willingness to discuss various options under the condition that these ensure control of the project for IPTO and a swift launch of its development

Greek officials are believed to have accepted some level of compromise. The details of this softened stance remain unknown but should be included in a document to be forwarded by the European Commission to all interested parties during the current week.

The Crete-Athens interconnection, ready for development in terms of technology and financing, according to IPTO, is crucial to ensure power sufficiency on Crete as of 2020.

Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading the wider PCI-status Greece-Cyprus-Israel grid interconnection project, has fought for control of the Crete-Athens segment with IPTO.

Yesterday’s agreement paves the way for a tender early in 2019 to facilitate the launch of work on the Crete-Athens link.

The Greek and Cypriot regulatory authorities for energy, Greek and Cypriot government officials, as well as representatives of IPTO, Euroasia Interconnector, ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, and Belgian operator Elia, took part in yesterday’s meeting.

IPTO OKs technical committee for Crete link, wants swift action

Power grid operator IPTO will accept the establishment of a technical committee for a supervisory role concerning compatibility between the Crete-Athens grid interconnection and a wider PCI-status project planned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids via Crete, but wants this committee to have delivered its final decisions by November 30 for avoidance of further delays to the Crete-Athens segment.

The Crete-Athens interconnection, ready for development in terms of technology and financing, according to IPTO, is crucial to ensure power sufficiency on Crete as of 2020.

IPTO is expected to present a full plan at a meeting in Brussels today to focus on compatibility issues concerning the Crete-Athens segment and the wider Greece-Cyprus-Israel grid interconnection.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, recently named the SPV “Ariadne Interconnection”, an IPTO subsidiary, the Crete-Athens link’s project promoter. Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests, heads the wider Greece-Cyprus-Israel interconnection project. IPTO and Euroasia have fought for control of the Crete-Athens link segment.

The Greek and Cypriot regulatory authorities for energy, Greek and Cypriot government officials, as well as representatives of IPTO, Euroasia Interconnector, ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, and Belgian operator Elia, are all expected to take part at today’s meeting.

ACER complaint on Crete-Athens link backs Brussels, project in limbo

Just days after objections were raised by the European Commission, ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, has also expressed its disapproval of a decision by RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, giving power grid operator IPTO permission to establish a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for financing and development control of Crete’s urgently needed major-scale electricity grid interconnection with Athens.

ACER, which made clear its discontent – and astonishment – in a letter forwarded to RAE, described the authority’s initiative as a “unilateral move”, energypress sources informed. RAE has yet to respond.

The Crete-Athens interconnection project’s future now appears to be in limbo as this second intervention by a European institution adds further weight to the European Commission’s insinuation that the link would cease to enjoy PCI status and subsequent EU backing if the RAE decision is upheld.

Brussels reacted to the RAE move by noting the authority cannot award Crete’s major-scale interconnection with Athens to any party until the end of the year, the time period given to Euroasia Interconnector – a consortium of Cypriot interests responsible for a wider project planned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids – to decide if it will utilize a right offered for a 39 percent stake, or less, in the venture to develop the Crete-Athens link.

Compatibility concerns have already been raised about four transformers to be installed in the wider Athens area, Crete, Cyprus and Israel for the Euroasia Interconnector.

Also, Cypriot officials, in comments to energypress, cited the emergence of a national issue as Cyprus now finds itself detached from the EU – regarding the project – as a result of the RAE move at a time when the island’s Turkish-occupied northeast is seeking a power grid interconnection with Turkey.

 

 

 

Euroasia seeks restart in Cretan link talks, IPTO remains firm

The Euroasia Interconnector consortium has requested a restart of failed negotiations concerning the development of Crete’s major interconnection planned to link the island’s power grid with Athens, sources have informed.

Negotiations between the Euroasia Interconnector and IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, both seeking control of the Cretan major interconnection project’s development, fell through less than a fortnight ago, and, in response, the European Commission gave RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, two months to decide on how the Cretan segment of the wider Euroasia Interconnector project will be developed and by whom.

The wider Euroasia Interconnector project, a PCI-status project awarded to the Euroasia Interconnector consortium, is planned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids via Crete.

In the ordeal’s latest development, the Euroasia Interconnector consortium has just forwarded a letter to all parties involved – the European Commission, ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators), RAE and its Cypriot counterpart RAEK, as well as IPTO – seeking fresh talks following the recent breakdown.

The Euroasia Interconnector consortium, in its letter, appears willing to accept a minority role for the Cretan segment of the wider interconnection project but insists on having a say in interoperability matters and project specifications.

In the letter, the Euroasia Interconnector consortium also doubts a recent ACER update  contending the Greek-Cypriot-Israeli interconnection has fallen well behind schedule and, furthermore, questions whether RAE has the authority to become involved in decisions concerning the project’s Cretan interconnection segment.

The Euroasia Interconnector consortium, in the letter, insists on the staging of a tender for all the project’s converters. This is one of the contentious issues that has troubled the consortium’s negotiations with IPTO as the power grid operator views the stance as pressure by Euroasia Interconnector for control over technical specifications and tenders concerning the project.

IPTO sees no reason to reconsider or change its course as a result of the letter, sources noted. Negotiations between the two sides broke down at a meeting on July 12.

Prior to the collapse, IPTO proposed the establishment of a special purpose vehicle (SPV), which the Greek power grid operator would control with a majority stake, to finance, develop and operate the Cretan interconnection. Regulators and the European Commission viewed the IPTO proposal as the only basis for negotiations before the breakdown.

 

Euroasia consortium doubts ACER report, insists on Crete link control

The Euroasia Interconnector consortium awarded the PCI-status Euroasia Interconnector planned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids, has strongly doubted an ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators) report noting the project’s development has fallen two years behind schedule and insists it should be given control of the major Cretan interconnection, part of the wider Mediterranean project.

The Cypriot regulatory authority for energy appears to be lending its support to the Euroasia Interconnector consortium over the issue.

The latest developments could affect hopes of progress following a July 12 meeting when RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, was tasked, by the European Commission, to decide within two months on how the Cretan major interconnection segment of the Euroasia Interconnector project will be developed and by whom.

The Euroasia Interconnector consortium and IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, have been at odds in their efforts to secure control of the development of the Cretan major interconnection planned to link the island’s grid with Athens.

The ACER report is intended to serve as a key guide for RAE’s decision-making in the dispute.

Recent talks between RAE and IPTO suggested that the Greek power grid operator would be awarded the contract for the major-Cretan interconnection as part of the Euroasia Interconnector. However, initial support by the European Commission for such a course of action now seems indefinite.

The Euroasia Interconnector consortium continues to believe it should be given the upper hand for the Cretan major interconnection’s development. Highlighting this stance, the consortium has organized a public consultation event for today at seaside Megara, on the western outskirts of Athens, for talks with local authorities and residents on project issues.

The major Cretan interconnection’s submarine power cable is planned to run from Crete to the Megara region before continuing as an overland connection to a central grid facility in Athens.

 

 

 

 

IPTO, Euroasia under tremendous pressure for Crete interconnection deal

IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, and Euroasia Interconnector, both vying to secure control of the construction of Crete’s major interconnection, linking the island’s grid with Athens, will go into a meeting today, organized by RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, under great pressure to reach an agreement. The two sides stand far apart at present.

Besides IPTO and Euroasia Interconnector, tomorrow’s meeting will also involve officials representing RAE, its Cypriot counterpart, the European Commission and ACER, the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.

A preliminary meeting staged yesterday made clear that the establishment of a partnership between IPTO and Euroasia Interconnector, based on the terms of a MoU signed by the two sides last October, is the only way of resolving the dispute.

One authority involved in the matter noted that the two sides will be given a limited amount of time, without the possibility of any extensions, to establish a partnership.

If this is not achieved, then RAE, fully supported by the European Commission, could either stage a tender offering the project’s development, proceed with a competitive procedure concerning its financing, or offer IPTO the project’s development, based on a specific schedule.

The MoU signed by IPTO and Euroasia Interconnector last October envisions a stake of at least 51 percent for IPTO in the project, 39 percent for Euroasia Interconnector, and 10 percent for private-sector investors. It also foresees the establishment of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) by the two firms to take on the project’s financing and development.

Euroasia Interconnector appears to be demanding equal powers for all technical matters and sub-contracts concerning the project.

The prospect of IPTO being responsible for sub-stations and the cable on the Greek side was discussed at yesterday’s preliminary meeting. In this case, Euroasia Interconnector will be exclusively responsible for technical matters concerning other segments of the project.

If such an arrangement is not agreed to, then the project’s procedures will need to recommence from scratch. Both sides would lose in this case as any new tender would attract additional investors for involvement in a project promising regulated and guaranted earnings.

The Euroasia Interconnector consortium insists it was formed to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids via a Crete interconnection as an entire project, adding it has already been classified as an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI).

 

ACER proposes removing priority dispatch for existing RES units

ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, has called for EU legislators to bring Renewable Energy Sources (RES) fully into the market in the clean energy transition, recommending three changes to the European Commission’s Clean Energy proposals.

The agency proposed removing the priority dispatch for existing RES units so that all technologies compete fairly in the market to deliver the lowest possible cost to consumers.

It also proposes avoiding a non-market approach to redispatch and RES curtailment. The agency recommends removing the proposed 90% compensation for RES curtailment. Regulators support the proposals for market-based prices as the driver for compensation paid to renewables that are curtailed when there is congestion. They also favor Transmission System Operators (TSOs) performing market-based (rather than technology-based) curtailments.

ACER also proposes the avoidance of net metering to ensure that self-generators pay their fair share of network and system costs.