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Ireland's Eirgrid sells all electricity capacity in first East-West auction

20 Jun 2012 14:39:28 | edem

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All the capacity offered in the first auction for the new 500MW East-West interconnector between Ireland and Britain was snapped up on Wednesday, Irish grid operator EirGrid said.

Q4 '12 capacity in both directions was on offer for the interconnector, which is due to start commercial operation in September.

Capacity on the 250km (155 mile) subsea cable flowing from Britain to Ireland saw three participants take part, according to Rodney Doyle, manager of East-West readiness at EirGrid, with one successfully taking all 40MW on offer at a cost of €5.48/MWh. This gives the operator congestion receivables of €484,000, according to Doyle.

In the reverse direction, from Ireland to Britain, all capacity was taken between the two participants involved at cost of €0.00/MWh - reflecting the difference in price for wholesale electricity between the two markets (see EDEM 9 May 2011).

"It shows that all systems are operating," said Doyle, "and we can take a good deal of confidence from that."

Five companies in total have registered to buy capacity on the cable, with another three going through the registration process - which Doyle considers reasonable when measured against the 450MW Moyle interconnector's two registered companies. The Moyle interconnector links Northern Ireland and Scotland (see EDEM 21 May 2012).

Doyle added that interest has come from other physical and financial participants, including two banks.

The next auction will take place on 25 July, with Q4 '12 capacity again on offer, but this time just 40MW going from Britain to Ireland. Annual capacity will be offered in August. FOR

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