Power exchange Epex Spot has headed off an investigation by regulator Ofgem by agreeing to help set up another power exchange for companies trading power across interconnectors between the GB and Irish/Northern Irish markets.
Ofgem warned in November that it would open an investigation over whether Epex Spot had abused or was abusing a dominant position, in relation to access to its cross-border intraday electricity trading platform and related services.
Epex Spot (and parent company EEX) had committed to joining a testing programme that would allow more than one power exchange to be available. Before go-live of the single energy market (i-SEM) it said that it was not willing to participate in the testing required to enable that plan to be delivered. Implementation groups accepted that position, because they did not want to delay the go-live and there was a “clear intention and commitment to deliver arrangements” to support participation of another market operator in the auctions “as early as practicable”.
Despite a delay in the iSEM go-live to October 2018 “GB trading parties have been able to access these auctions only via EPEX’s trading platform. Despite the delay to the launch date, and the time that has now elapsed since go-live, the necessary arrangements required for other GB NEMOs to participate in these auctions have still not been put in place,” said Ofgem.
Now Epex has agreed to take the necessary steps to enable Nord Pool – its main competitor in Great Britain – to participate in the auctions. It has agreed a timeline that anticipates go-live of the new platform by 23 July.
Epex will also carry out an internal review of its competition law training.
Ofgem wants comments on the commitments made by Epex by 4pm on Monday 20 May.