Big investment interest, target model to spark RES trade war

The enormous number of renewable energy projects currently at various stages of maturity, combined with market changes to be brought about by the imminent target model and the system’s limited ability to absorb and remunerate projects are factors expected to stir up a fierce economic battle between RES producers as they strive for their investment plans to prevail.

RES projects currently operating represent a total capacity of 10.5 GW and will need to reach 19 GW by 2030 if National Energy and Climate Plan goals are to be achieved, meaning a further 8.5 GW in RES capacity will need to be added over the next decade at an average rate of 850 MW per year, according to data presented by the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou.

At present, projects representing a total capacity of 26 GW are maturing, 5 GW of these projects being at a very mature stage.

License applications have been submitted for a further 35 GW in RES projects, while an additional 5 GW of small-scale projects and approximately 10 MW of major-scale projects regarded as strategic investments are all currently being connected to the grid.

Overall, this activity represents 11,000 RES projects of all technologies and scale with a total capacity of 76 GW, or investment interest ten times over the NECP’s needs.

Admittedly, not all of these projects will be actualized, but ten years of investment and licensing activity still lie ahead. A new round of applications in December is expected to attract major investment interest and add to the current total of 76 GW.

 

 

Target model ‘dangerous without monitoring mechanism’

The launch of target model markets without a fully functional market monitoring mechanism from the very first day, if not sooner, threatens to undermine the entire effort, two industry associations, ESAI/HAIPP, the Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers, and ESEPIE, the Hellenic Association of Electricity Trading & Supply Companies, have reiterated in warnings to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

RAE is currently preparing a market monitoring mechanism, with support from a specialized consultant from abroad, for the target model markets, but the project is still a long way off, energypress sources have informed. RAE is believed to have received an initial draft of the monitoring mechanism plan now being processed in detail for a finalized version.

The market monitoring mechanism, needed to ensure healthy electricity market competition, will accumulate data from power grid operator IPTO and the Greek energy exchange to identify possible market manipulation practices.

The target model, aiming to harmonize Greece’s electricity market with wholesale electricity markets in the EU, faces a delay of a few weeks. Authorities identified pending issues in the lead-up to the previous launch date, scheduled for September 17.

Even the smallest of flaws in a market as limited in size and depth as the Greek market can prompt major financial consequences for participants, ESEPIE warned in its letter to RAE.

The implementation of an effective monitoring mechanism can prevent such setbacks and is essential for creating a climate of confidence in the new markets, the association stressed, adding the mechanism should have been applied during dry testing staged in the lead-up to the target model launch.

New target model department at Mytilineos, raising retail, RES goals

The Mytilineos group is assembling a new energy management and trading division, described as a pioneering effort for Greece, in preparation for the forthcoming arrival of the target model.

The new division will be tasked with handling all the group’s electricity production and trading matters, as well as natural gas trading and import activities, the objective being to bring together all the aforementioned concerns under the one management system.

Much is expected of this initiative, Evangelos Mytilineos (home), the group’s chairman and CEO, told analysts during a presentation of company first-half results.

The energy supply market is not yet mature enough for further concentration, Mytilineos noted, making clear his corporation is prepared for this prospect.

He attributed favorable results in the energy sector to low natural gas prices, forecasting a correction in the second half.

The Mytilineos group aims to have captured a 10 percent share of the retail energy market by the end of 2020, its head official noted.

The group has also set elevated RES goals and is aiming for 300 MW of operational wind energy farms and several more hundred MW at various stages of development by the end of 2021, Mytilineos informed.

Negotiations with power utility PPC for new electricity tariffs concerning aluminium producer Aluminium of Greece, a Mytilineos group member, are in progress, he added.

The cost of industrial electricity tariffs is a crucially important issue for the government and power utility PPC.

Mytilineos said he expects metal prices to rebound in the second half of this year, noting the group is not exposed to any price fluctuations for the remainder in 2020 as a result of hedging.

The group’s financial results for 2020 will be close to record levels posted for 2019, analysts were informed.

First-half results have taken the group a step closer to its objectives for the year, while, barring unexpected developments, last year’s dividend level will be maintained, the CEO added.

‘Target model tο improve markets, local peculiarities need to go soon’

The target model – the wholesale electricity market model being implemented by virtually all European countries with an aim to gradually harmonize markets, through coupling, for a unified EU electricity market, a key EU objective – promises to improve the operating ability of markets, Sotiris Hatzimichael, power utility PPC’s General Manager of Strategy & Transformation, has noted in an article published as part of an energypress target model special ahead of Greece’s forthcoming launch of new market systems.

Electricity companies will, as a result of the target model, not only have access to national markets but also bigger regional markets, initially, before eventually also gaining access to a European market, the PPC official noted, explaining that this extroversion promises benefits such as broadened customer bases and revenue and profit boost opportunities.

This extroversion will also subject electricity companies to greater competition, forcing optimization, cost minimization and performance maximization, all of which will ultimately benefit energy consumers and the economy, Hatzimichael pointed out.

The results of this effort to restructure wholesale markets will become apparent over time, while, for the Greek market, the target model’s implementation of four market systems – forward, day-ahead, intraday and balancing – will offer benefits to producers, suppliers and consumers and also present a series of challenges, the PPC official noted.

The target model’s four new markets will require new infrastructure, software and hardware, new risk management procedures, as well as many specialized individuals qualified to take on jobs demanded by the target model, Hatzimichael noted.

The transition will be crucial and needs to be handled with great care to avoid market turmoil and instability, he added.

However, true convergence of the Greek market with those of other EU member states will require the swift removal of any local peculiarities that have been incorporated into the Greek version of the target model, such as forward market participation limitations, Hatzimichael stressed.

Pending issues to delay target model launch by a few weeks

The target model’s scheduled September 17 launch date is expected to be postponed by a few weeks following the identification, by authorities, of crucial unresolved issues, even at regulatory level, as well as discrepancies between dry-run market testing results and actual market conditions.

The energy ministry is believed to be preparing to announce the postponement over the next few days. A delay of at least four weeks is expected.

Officials identified the biggest discrepancies in the balancing market, one of the four market systems of the target model, also including day-ahead, intraday and forward markets.

Power grid operator IPTO forwarded a technical decision on balancing market clearing matters for public consultation last Friday, inviting market participants to comment by September 16, just one day ahead of the target model’s scheduled launch.

Other pending issues, sources noted, include a procedure for the selection of reserve power stations; a regulatory framework determining offers by participating units; as well as mechanisms enabling RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to monitor the behavior of market participants.

Ministry to finalize target model launch date next week

Though the electricity market’s target model launch is scheduled for a September 17 launch, energy ministry officials have shown some reservation by noting the ministry will be in a position to make a finalized decision on the precise date in one week, energypress sources have informed.

The ministry is closely monitoring an ongoing dry-run procedure offering simulated testing of all market systems and assessing their level of readiness on a daily basis, the sources noted.

Operators may have declared being ready for the launch but the energy ministry will not give the green light for a launch until it is absolutely certain that every single issue has been fully resolved.

A change of the launch date for the new markets – day-ahead, intraday, forward and balancing – will be made if this is considered necessary, but any deferral will be limited, officials noted, implying that no more than a few weeks could be given.

The dry-run procedure and rectification of any glitches was supposed to have been completed by now, but authorities have just granted an extension until September 6.

 

Extra week for dry-run tests ahead of target model launch

A dry run procedure offering simulated testing of all market systems and resolving any glitches ahead of the target model launch, scheduled for September 17, has been extended for another week until September 6.

Authorities met last Friday for a latest review of dry-run results. ESAI/HAIPP, the Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers, in its observations, primarily focused on the balancing market.

The association also objected to integrated programming process revisions proposed by power grid operator IPTO, as well as the timing of these proposals, just days ahead of the official launch of markets.

ESAI/HAIPP is expected to forward its views on the issue, in writing, to the energy ministry, later today or tomorrow. The matter essentially concerns the calculation of reserves to be covered by the system for its security.

The Energy Exchange, to operate the day-ahead, intraday and forward markets, and IPTO, operating the balancing market, are both scheduled – based on a ministerial decision – to deliver an interim report this week for the energy ministry and RAE on the progress and level of readiness of market systems.

These systems have been undergoing continual testing since August 3. The number of dry-run participants has increased in recent days, while price levels are now at far more rational levels, especially in the day-ahead market.

All market participants, approximately 60 in total, have until September 4 to submit required supporting documents to the Energy Exchange in order to receive membership registration certificates by September 11.

 

Safety mechanism to limit energy exchange fluctuations

Sizeable electricity price discrepancies – compared to day-ahead scheduling market levels – observed by officials in ongoing dry-run testing of Energy Exchange markets ahead of the target model launch scheduled for September 17 and attributed to unrealistic offers made by participants, are expected to narrow as more participants become involved.

Even so, officials supervising the simulated testing of all four Energy Exchange markets – day-ahead, intraday, forward, balancing markets – plan to introduce a safety mechanism enabling participants to make improved follow-up offers if price levels fluctuate beyond upper and lower limits.

Officials at related agencies and the energy ministry are confident the dry run will be completed on time despite being up against a very tight schedule.

The head officials of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, the energy exchange, and power grid operator IPTO held a summit meeting yesterday with energy minister Costis Hatzidakis and the ministry’s secretary-general, Alexandra Sdoukou, to discuss the progress of the dry run. Other officials meet on a weekly basis to discuss the effort.

To date, any technical issues that have arisen have been resolved. Both the Energy Exchange and IPTO appear ready for the real-life launch. Market systems have been undergoing continual testing since August 3.

However, a shortage in the number of dry-run participants, especially traders, has been observed. This is concerning as current evaluations of the market system performances cannot be considered entirely accurate. All key players – gas-based electricity producers, suppliers, traders, RES producers and aggregators – must be involved in the simulated testing for a dependable picture.

Once the Energy Exchange and IPTO have declared their readiness, RAE will need to offer its approval of the dry run on September 11, a week before the target model’s scheduled September 17 launch.

The aim is for all players to have entered the market systems on September 15 to prepare their orders for the launch two days later.

Crucial week for target model’s dry-run tests of market systems

Though any glitches that have emerged during ongoing simulated testing of all energy exchange market systems ahead of a target model launch scheduled for September 17 have been quickly resolved, officials remain concerned about the venture’s level of readiness.

The number of participants for the dry run’s virtual transactions, especially traders, has been insufficient, while participants are submitting unrealistic offers, officials have observed.

This has prompted major fluctuations as well as sizable electricity price discrepancies compared to day-ahead scheduling market levels.

Market systems at the Energy Exchange, to operate the day-ahead, intraday and forward markets, and at the power grid operator IPTO, operating the balancing market, have been undergoing continual testing since August 3.

This week will be crucial as an increase in the number of participants is anticipated, while heightened maturity in bidding methods is also expected, all of which should result in safer conclusions.

For the time being, a deferral of the target model’s September 17 launch date is not being considered. All operators must declare complete readiness to RAE by September 11 if this launch date is to be maintained.

Electricity price levels, once the target model is launched, cannot be forecast at present. This could be possible within the next few days.

Officials at the energy ministry, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, the energy exchange and IPTO, all monitoring the effort, are scheduled to stage their next weekly meeting tomorrow.

Energy exchange dry run starts, target model launch nearing

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.

IPTO handed RAE fine for target model’s balancing market delay

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has imposed a fine on power grid operator IPTO as a result of its failure to maintain a schedule concerning the establishment of an energy exchange  balancing market, an obligation included in a ministerial decision for the target model, energypress sources have informed.

RAE took this decision at a recent board meeting after summoning the operator to offer explanations for its delay in the delivery of an online platform needed for the balancing market.

The information-system delay prevented trial runs of the energy exchange’s three markets, initially scheduled to begin April 10. These trial runs ended up being launched earlier this week, on Monday.

IPTO’s defending case was deemed insufficient by RAE, even though the sudden departure from Greece, early in the pandemic, by a General Electric team working on the balancing market’s information system was pivotal and beyond the operator’s control.

The first stage of testing, involving virtual tests of all energy exchange and IPTO systems, is scheduled to last until July 10. An initial assessment of the trial period will then follow.

A second testing stage, a dry run, or continual simulated testing of all new wholesale markets, is scheduled to start August 3.

The launch date for the energy exchange’s markets has been rescheduled for September 17. The energy ministry is expected to soon sign a related ministerial decision.

PPC, majors face 20% sale limit on output for bilateral contracts

Vertically integrated electricity producers will be permitted to sell up to 20 percent of production through mutual agreements once the target model is launched, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has decided, ultimately doubling a 10 percent limited proposed by the Greek stock exchange, energypress sources have informed.

RAE reached its decision to set the limit at 20 percent after considering arguments presented by producers and sector authorities during consultation.

The limit takes into effect power utility PPC, dominating the retail market, as well as all integrated producers with retail market shares of more than 4 percent – namely, as things stand, Protergia, Heron and Elpedison, all with over 4 percent for quite some time now.

This decision by RAE is one of the last pending issues concerning energy exchange markets, recently rescheduled to begin operating on September 17, if all goes according to plan from here on.

ESAI/HAIPP, the Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers, had proposed a limit of between 5 and 10 percent for PPC’s mutual agreements and forward contracts, and proportional limits for vertically integrated electricity producers with market shares of more than 4 percent.

PPC, which, from the outset, pushed for a 20 percent limit, based its argument on a study by global energy consulting company ECCO International, according to which the sale limit on output should range between 10 and 20 percent.

 

Safety measures vital for target model markets, producers stress

The introduction of energy exchange spot markets, in September, when they are scheduled to begin operating, without the adoption of safety measures facilitating competition and preventing manipulative methods, primarily by power utility PPC, the market’s dominant player, could lead to undesired results and strengthen the market’s monopolistic character, independent electricity producer representatives have told energypress.

The officials expressed their concerns as a monitoring mechanism being prepared by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, with consultancy support, may not be fully functional at the time of the target model’s launch.

The monitoring mechanism is considered the basic tool in the effort to ensure healthy competition in electricity markets as it will be used to collect data from power grid operator IPTO and the Greek energy exchange and identify any manipulative practices in the wholesale market.

Interventions needed, according to independent electricity producers, include restricting PPC’s ability to establish two-way agreements; offering support to the new target model market with a supplementary market offering capacity availability; and protecting markets, overall, through powerful, consistent and independent monitoring mechanisms.

 

Ministry preparing for Brussels demand response, TFRM approvals

Anticipating the European Commission’s approval of government proposals for a demand response mechanism and a transitory flexibility remuneration mechanism (TFRM), the energy ministry is preparing ministerial decisions for immediate signing once Brussels has given the green light.

These decisions will need to be signed by Greek officials before the two mechanisms can be implemented. The ministry is preparing the ground to have both mechanisms launched as soon as possible.

Brussels and Athens have reached an agreement on the mechanisms, prompting the energy ministry to deliver a finalized version of the demand response plan to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, ahead of this mechanism’s reintroduction.

The energy ministry expects power grid operator IPTO to be able to stage its first auction for demand-response capacities in July.

According to the agreement reached with Brussels, IPTO will be permitted to auction demand response capacities of up to 800 MW, below the previous limit of 1,030 MW.

Also, a greater number of participants will be eligible as enterprises with capacities of at least 2 MW will be able to take part, down from 3 MW in the previous mechanism. Troubled nickel producer Larco will not be excluded.

In addition, the new mechanism will run until September 30, 2021, not for two years as had been requested by EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers.

As for the TFRM, it will remain valid until the implementation of a permanent CAT mechanism, which the energy ministry expects to launch in March, 2021.

The TFRM will be divided into two stages, the first running until the launch of target model markets, scheduled for September 17, under the same terms that applied for a mechanism that expired in March, 2019.

The TFRM’s second stage will run from the launch of the target model until a permanent flexibility mechanism is introduced. Its capacity is expected to be drastically reduced to 750 MW from 4,500 MW. Remuneration levels are also expected to drop.

Energy exchange launch date rescheduled for September 17

The energy ministry is set to reschedule the energy exchange market’s launch date for September 17, two-and-a-half months beyond the original June 30 date, following commitments made yesterday, during a virtual conference, by the power grid operator IPTO and Hellenic Energy Exchange (HENEX) administrations on the delivery of information systems and time required for trial runs.

The energy ministry is now expected to soon deliver a related ministerial decision, probably next week, setting the new schedule for the target model, or, more specifically, the energy exchange’s spot markets.

The compatibility of platforms and other applications being co-developed by the Greek energy exchange and IPTO for the balancing market is seen as crucial to the success of the new schedule.

As has been previously reported, a delay in the delivery of a balancing market platform to IPTO by General Electric, commissioned this project, has been a key factor behind the inability of officials to meet the original June 30 launch date.

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 the outbreak.

IPTO, now closely coordinating with GE for a specific delivery date following the relaxation of lockdown measures, has promised to gradually deliver required information systems as of this month, prompting Greek authorities to set a new launch date.

According to the new schedule, certain trial runs testing combined energy exchange and IPTO systems will begin on June 22. Simulated testing, or a dry run, of all systems is expected to start on August 3 and last until markets are actually launched on September 17, given no issues arise.

Target model, energy exchange plans shaped by meeting today

The energy ministry intends to set new launch dates for the target model and energy exchange markets once it has drawn conclusions from a crucial meeting today with representatives of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, the Greek energy exchange, and power grid operator IPTO.

A previous June 30 target model launch date will definitely be missed as a result of various delays, including a pandemic-related hold up in the delivery of a balancing market platform by General Electric to IPTO.

The revised target model schedule, to be included in a related ministerial decision, will be based on the new feasible launch date for energy exchange markets.

No pending issues remain concerning the operating regulations to apply for the new markets. All rules have been approved.

Certain formula details, including a much-debated formula concerning the percentage of production each producer will be able to secure through contracts, are expected imminently, prior to June 22, when the tenure of RAE’s head official is set to expire.

A GE team that was stationed in Athens for the balancing market platform project left the country without notice, citing the possibility of greater pandemic danger ahead.

IPTO is now closely coordinating with GE for a specific delivery date, following the relaxation of lockdown measures.

Well-informed authorities insist that the energy exchange’s spot markets cannot be launched before mid-September.

 

Monitoring mechanism ‘needed prior to target model markets’

A monitoring mechanism enabling RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to protect target model electricity markets from abusive, non-competitive behavior by electricity producers, must be ready before target model markets are launched, the European Commission has stressed in its latest post-bailout report on the Greek economy.

Legislation ratified by the Greek government late in 2019 strengthened RAE’s powers by giving it authority to raid company offices and impose fines for abusive behavior.

The crucial role of the monitoring mechanism has also been pointed out in Greece’s revised National Energy and Climate Plan.

The monitoring mechanism, to collect data from power grid operator IPTO and the Greek stock exchange, will be able to identify wholesale trade irregularities.

The European Commission report projects Greece’s target model will be launched in the third quarter of this year, beyond a June 30 target date. The pandemic has negatively impacted the delivery date of a trading platform by General Electric.

Earlier this week, market officials contended that a launch of spot markets at the Greek energy exchange is not possible until September, rejecting IPTO claims of an earlier target model start within August.

August launch of target model not possible, pundits insist

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.

 

 

Industrial energy cost reduction measures planned, deputy tells

The government is preparing to reduce a special consumption tax for energy-intensive mid-voltage companies and also push through a series of other measures aiming to reduce industrial energy costs, deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas has revealed in an interview with Greek daily Kathimerini.

The deputy minister said he is confident a Greek proposal seeking extensions for the country’s demand response mechanism and transitory flexibility remuneration mechanism (TFRM) will be approved by the European Commission.

The special consumption tax for energy-intensive mid-voltage companies will be reduced to the level offered to high-voltage companies, the deputy minister informed.

Also, a new public service compensation (YKO) mechanism offering benefits for high and mid-voltage industries will be introduced, he said.

Power grid operator IPTO needs to design and launch new demand response products in compliance with EU directives, the deputy minister noted while addressing the forthcoming launch of the target model in Greece.

The objective is to provide incentives to private-sector producers and industry for equal participation in the balancing and energy markets, he explained.

 

 

Brussels concerns delay flexibility remuneration mechanism

A government proposal for a transitory flexibility remuneration mechanism (TFRM) is being delayed by European Commission concerns, holding back progress despite a legislative initiative taken by the energy ministry to hasten the approval process.

The Greek government forwarded its flexibility mechanism proposal to the European Commission in December, requesting it remains valid over a transitional period. The request has obviously prompted concerns in Brussels, as suggested by an ongoing question-and-response procedure.

Many EU member states no longer use TFRMs. Prior to the request in December, Greek officials had informed the European Commission that flexibility in the country would be remunerated through the Target Model, once it is implemented, not separately.

Approval by Brussels is needed before Greece’s energy ministry can issue a ministerial decision formalizing the transitory mechanism.

The energy ministry, in an effort to limit the overall delay, has attached a related legislative revision to a wider draft bill covering environmental matters, now headed for parliament.

Otherwise, the ministry would need to submit a separate legislative revision to parliament once Brussels has given its green light. Such a course would further delay the mechanism’s implementation.

RAE starts target model delay investigation, hearing possible

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.

Target model schedule’s first major deadline hit by coronavirus

Trial runs of energy exchange market systems, the target model’s first major deadline, were officially scheduled to commence today but have been postponed as a result of coronavirus-related delays, power grid operator IPTO has informed.

IPTO, the energy exchange and EnexClear were scheduled to start system tests today.

General Electric, citing the period’s extraordinary conditions, has explained it is not in a position to deliver finalized version of a platform needed for the balancing market.

The company estimates a 50-day delay in the delivery of the related software, based on current data.

This delay will have a knock-on effect on the schedule mapping out an energy exchange launch on June 30.

According to law, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will need to begin an investigation process on the matter and determine responsibilities for the delay. Presumably, IPTO and the energy exchange will need to offer explanations.

A new official date will then need to be set once the investigation has been completed. Now set to be dragged into the summer period, the energy exchange launch may be further delayed, beyond August.

 

Target model’s June 30 launch date headed for delay, extent unclear

The target model and energy exchange launch date, scheduled for June 30, is no longer possible, unless unforeseeable changes occur, the main issue now being the extent of the expected delay, officials agreed during a virtual conference staged on Wednesday by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

Energy exchange and power grid operator IPTO officials took part in the session, held to evaluate preparations of the launch.

Officials admitted the target model’s delay could be over one month long. Given the August summer break, its launch may need to be made even later, they noted.

Similar thoughts were expressed during a preceding European Commission conference, on Monday, to check the target model’s progress.

Despite the extraordinary period’s accumulation of difficulties, the energy ministry still considers the existing target model launch date as official and contends it will make all efforts to achieve it.

General Electric, citing the unforeseeable coronavirus circumstances, has stated it cannot deliver a finalized platform for IPTO’s balancing market over the next few days, as had been planned.

Consequently, a trial run of market systems officially scheduled for April 10 is no longer possible, according to the energy exchange.

On the contrary, IPTO believes trial runs can still be performed without the balancing market’s finalized platform.

Target model schedule checked at virtual meeting today

Leading energy sector authorities and European Commission officials will stage a virtual conference today, instead of a face-to-face meeting in Athens, to examine whether Greece’s commitment to a June 30 launch of the target model and energy exchange markets – next-day, intra-day and balancing markets – can be strictly adhered to amid the extraordinary conditions prompted by the coronavirus epidemic.

Representatives of Greece’s energy ministry, the energy exchange, power grid operator IPTO and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will take part in today’s teleconference with European Commission officials.

All market terms have already been approved by Brussels.

Finalized decisions on various formulas to be applied, such as the proportion of production each producer will be permitted to offer through contracts, are expected by the end of April.

A May 15 deadline for a full-scale trial run of all the market’s systems has been set.

Brussels ‘attaching unresolved market issues to target model’

Greece’s unresolved energy market issues, including demand response and flexibility mechanism requests, appear to have been bundled up into one package by the European Commission as it waits to see if the country will honor its commitment to launch the target model this summer, sources believe.

Brussels has held back on approving a demand response mechanism extension request and CATs rewarding flexibility. Sources believe the European Commission will maintain delay tactics, through ongoing correspondence, until the summer.

The Greek government forwarded a request for a demand response mechanism extension of two years in late December before presenting the plan in Brussels the following month.

The presentation prompted an extended period of correspondence between the two sides that ended up requiring Greece’s energy ministry to respond to a lengthy list of questions. The ministry’s responses to these questions were forwarded two weeks ago. Athens is now awaiting news from the European Commission.

PPC Renewables set for second of three Ptolemaida PV unit tenders

PPC Renewables plans to announce a tender next week for the development of a 15-MW solar energy project, the second of three sections making up a bigger 230-MW photovoltaic project planned for Ptolemaida, northern Greece.

The renewable energy firm, a wholly owned subsidiary of power utility PPC, has already forwarded all relevant information concerning this tender to the European Commission for publication on its official website.

A tender has already been staged for an initial 15-MW package. As for the project’s third and final package, by far the biggest, 200 MW, PPC Renewables intends to stage a tender for its development by summer.

During its construction stages, the project is expected to create at least 300 jobs, while, when completed, the facility should generate 390,000 MWh, enough to cover the needs of 290,000 persons.

PPC Renewables is expected to be among the first companies to induct projects into the Target Model, in other words, two-sided contracts with consumers whose prices will no longer be determined at auctions staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

PPC Renewables’ portfolio currently totals 150 MW of completed energy projects, while RES projects representing a further 100 MW are now under construction. In addition, tenders for 280 MW have either been announced or will be announced. This additional 280-MW capacity includes the Ptolemaida project, expected to require between 24 and 36 months for completion.

Independent players want clauses for cost factors other than the SMP

Supplier cost clauses should not be limited to the System Marginal Price (SMP) as various other wholesale market factors influencing the overall cost should also be taken into account, independent electricity suppliers have agreed in a related public consultation procedure completed yesterday.

Previously, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, proposed the implementation of a standardized SMP as the only permissible clause, the objective being to simplify consumer price comparisons of supplier offers.

Though independent suppliers do not want their supply term clauses limited to the SMP, they acknowledge this factor remains relevant under the current system, ending mid-way through 2020 with the arrival of the target model.

Suppliers believe some time will be needed for observations concerning the SMP’s replacement, including day-ahead market prices.

Also, the target model’s new markets will bring about significant supply cost changes that cannot be calculated at present, suppliers noted in the public consultation procedure.

Though PPC has asked that its contribution to the public consultation procedure not be published, the utility’s opposition to the cancellation of a CO2-related clause it applies is already widely known.