Energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has urged all target model officials – including RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy; power grid operator IPTO; the energy exchange and EnExClear – to have resolved any pending issues so that a smooth launch of the model may be achieved on November 1.
Describing the upcoming date as historic for Greece’s energy sector, the minister was essentially conveying concerns of energy producers, traders and suppliers, not yet fully convinced that all market systems will be in full working order for the imminent launch.
The balancing market, in particular, remains a concern. The energy exchange is overseeing the day-ahead and intraday markets and IPTO will manage the balancing market.
Simulated dry-run testing of these markets, conducted for a period of over two months to test their limits and operating ability ahead of the target model launch, was completed about a fortnight ago.
Greece’s lead-up to the EU target model has been affected by a series of delays. Hatzidakis, the energy minister, is clearly determined to see the target model procedure through, not only because it is an EU commitment but also because of its prospective market and consumer benefits.
The target model will result in market coupling, or harmonization of EU wholesale markets, the intention being to eliminate market distortions and intensify competition.
A final full-scale test of all market systems is scheduled for October 27 while all is anticipated to be ready on October 30 ahead of the November 1 launch.
Simulated testing of all energy exchange market systems, the dry run, began yesterday, as officially scheduled, putting the launch of the target model on the final stretch.
Market systems linked to power grid operator IPTO, the Greek energy exchange, as well as EnexClear, an energy exchange subsidiary tasked with clearing transactions, are now operating under conditions of virtual reality, signaling the beginning of final-stage testing to be completed at the end of this month.
During the dry run, participating producers and buyers will be making simulated offers and purchases, the objective being to identify possible operational faults or insufficiencies for correction ahead of the official launch of the target model, scheduled for September 17.
All four energy exchange markets – the day-ahead, intraday, forward and balancing markets – are being tested. The energy exchange is in charge of the first three while IPTO is operator of the fourth.
Following August 11, EnexClear will take on a more active role for transaction clearances, a procedure to be performed on a weekly basis.
The overall procedure’s schedule was formalized by a ministerial decision signed on July 10.
A launch of spot markets at the Greek energy exchange is not possible until September, well-informed market officials insist, rejecting recent claims by power grid operator IPTO deputy chief Yiannis Margaris of an earlier target model start within August.
The energy ministry is currently coordinating with IPTO, the Hellenic Energy Exchange (HENEX) and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for clarity as to when the launch of the target model’s energy exchange markets is feasible.
A June 30 launch date will inevitably be missed, a key problem behind the delay being the absence of a specific date for the delivery of a balancing market platform to IPTO by General Electric, commissioned this project.
A GE team that was stationed in Athens for this project left the country without notice, citing the possibility of greater pandemic danger ahead, in reaction to its outbreak. This has delayed the delivery of the platform.
IPTO is now closely coordinating with GE for a specific delivery date, following the relaxation of lockdown measures.
Trial runs of all market systems linking IPTO, HENEX and EnexClear were scheduled to begin April 10. Dry-run testing, or continual simulation, of market systems was scheduled for May 15, ahead of the June 30 launch date for the target model’s day-ahead, intraday and balancing market launches, now all out of the question.
RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has launched an investigation seeking to pinpoint the causes behind the delay of the target model’s first stage.
An April 10 deadline was missed for trial runs of all market systems in a procedure involving power grid operator IPTO, the energy exchange and EnexClear.
IPTO was unable to complete the development of a balancing market platform needed for the trial runs. The operator attributed its delay to a coronavirus-related inability by General Electric to deliver required software on time. This delay has now clocked up some 60 days.
The energy authority wants to determine whether any other factors, besides the coronavirus pandemic’s inevitable effect, have played a role in the delay of the trial run.
RAE also wants to examine the impact of the delays until now on the target model’s next stages. A full-scale launch scheduled for June 30, when day-ahead, intraday and balancing markets are expected to begin operating, now appears to be out of the question, while a delay beyond summer is feared.
The authority could summon all parties involved to a hearing to determine whether penalties need to be imposed.