Friday 25 May 2018

IT issues delay single electricity market

The delay is due to the need for further testing of IT systems that allow generators to bid to provide power on an all-island basis. Stock photo: Getty Images
The delay is due to the need for further testing of IT systems that allow generators to bid to provide power on an all-island basis. Stock photo: Getty Images

Paul Melia Environment Editor

ONGOING IT issues have delayed the start date for the single electricity market until at least October.

Designed to create more competition and ultimately lead to lower power prices, the Integrated Single Electricity Market (ISEM) was originally due to go live on May 23 next. However, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has confirmed it will not go live until October 1 next.

The delay is due to the need for further testing of IT systems that allow generators to bid to provide power on an all-island basis.

"Recognising the realities for both transmission system operators, central IT systems and the need to allow adequate testing of market participants IT systems, the SEM Committee (SEMC) has decided that the market will now go live on October 1 2018," the CRU said. "The timetable for future capacity auctions, including the T-4 auction, remains unchanged.

"This additional period is seen as essential to allow for residual IT system issues to be resolved and for a longer period of market testing and trialling that will ensure the arrangements for the ISEM go-live are effective."

National grid operator EirGrid said a number of "key defects" in the IT systems needed to be resolved. "The decision to postpone the launch date of the new market is prudent as it will facilitate the completion of final testing of the core ISEM software. It will also allow market participants to ensure that their IT systems are ready," it said.

ISEM is designed to integrate the all-island system with European electricity markets, allowing the freeflow of power across borders while improving competition and security of supply.

Irish Independent

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