Irish Republic, Northern Ireland, set to delay start of revised electricity market

The ‘go-live’ date for a new Single Electricity Market (SEM) across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, dubbed I-SEM, could be delayed by eight month st May 2018.

The existing SEM is being ‘rebuilt’ so it is consistent with market models emerging in the EU. Electricity trading was due to begin in the I-SEM on 1 October 2017 but a ‘stocktake’ for the regulators said “the overall level of risk “places considerable doubt over the achievability of an I-SEM Go Live date of October 2017″. The proposed new go-live date has been accepted by authorities in both jurisdictions but has not yet been confirmed.

Commenting on the delay, law firm Mason, Hayes & Curran said “Given the complexity of the I-SEM project (both in the execution of the project, and in the final form of the market that is emerging from the process), a 7-month delay in the I-SEM “go-live” date will perhaps not come as a surprise to existing SEM participants or interested parties.  A positive view of the decision is, indeed, that it enhances the credibility of the revised I-SEM project plan and can, therefore, be regarded as a source of comfort to the many market participants for whom I-SEM will carry significant investment implications.”