Dispatching, Authority punishes energy company for misconduct
In May 2012, the Authority concluded an investigation pursuant to Article 2 of Law 287/90 in respect of the company Repower Italia Spa, EGL Italia Spa and Tirreno Power SpA, ensuring a restrictive of competition in the service market Power to the technical minimum required by Terna Spa on holidays to plants that serve the Campania region, in order to keep the voltage of the electricity grid in Campania within the safety limit. EGL Italy possesses the combined cycle power plant of Sparanise (CE), whose management is entrusted to Calenia Energia Spa, Spa Repower Italy has the combined cycle power plant in Teverola (CE), whose management is entrusted to SET Spa , Tirreno Power has the combined cycle power plant Napoli Levante. The three plants, for the purposes of the requirements of the national transmission grid operator Terna, with reference to the maintenance of internal tension in the area in Naples, form the so-called "Campania cluster". The proceeding was initiated following an anonymous tip which denounced the formation of a cartel to keep prices high for the services of electricity dispatching in the Center-South, where the central Teversal resided. Such an agreement would have provided to these companies the willingness to turn on power plant sites in Campania in turn, on weekends, at prices that are competitive.
The Authority considered that the conduct complained cared the market for electricity dispatching (MSD), articulated in a programming session (MSD ex ante) and a real-time session (balancing market - MB). Feature of this market is that, as a result of its reform entered into force on 1 January 2010, operators may submit separate bids for different types of service required by Terna, both ex-ante MSD of MB. In this context, the Authority considered that the relevant market in this case was made by the service switch to the technical minimum required by Terna on the ex-ante MSD on holidays to plants that are part of the cluster Campania, considering that during periods of low load - which on Sundays - only plants of the cluster would be able to solve the constraint of local network consists of the excessive tension caused by low input area to the front of the lower expected demand.
During the procedure, the Authority has established the existence of an agreement between operators EGL Italy, Tirreno Power and Repower, unitholders representing 100% of the market, concerning the allocation of goodwill required by Terna on the MSD ex ante to installations in the cluster Campania holidays. The agreement had been realized on the needs of the TSO Terna to have a unit of the group of plants in Campania in service to solve voltage problems that plagued the area during holidays: a requirement that made stable demand services Power to the technical minimum.
In particular, the analyzes have revealed the existence of parallel conduct, consisting of: (i) in making sure that the systems in the cluster Campania were not lit on the Day-Ahead Market (MGP) on holidays, this created an application for attendance at work (on MSD) of at least one of these plants from Terna, to solve the problems that plague the voltage control in those situations, Campania, (ii) the presentation of ex-ante MSD offers ignition of the units in the cluster Campanian according to a set of rules aimed at ensuring the shifts of the goodwill of the plants of the cluster on the basis of cycles of three public holidays; such rules (a) was designed so as not to require contacts between the Parties and ( b) To this end, they were centered on the identification of a reference price, accepted the offer made last holiday for which GME had made public the data - usually on Sundays than two weeks before, (iii) in that the bids of power to a level above 200 € / MWh; (iv) fair allocation of goodwill and revenue.
The parallel behavior had emerged precisely in the period between the second Sunday in May 2010 and the middle of July 2010, ensuring fair allocation of goodwill between the plants in Teversal, Sparanise and Napoli Levante. After the middle of July 2010, however, due to the gravity and duration of the infringement, as well as the different degree of participation in the cartel, the Authority imposed the company Repower Italy, Tirreno Power and EGL Italian sanctions in the amount of , respectively, to € 106,156, to 116,097 and 80,389 euro.
The Authority has found its weakening, because of two episodes of close MGP offer by EGL and various violations of the rules of supply identified.
The Authority considered that the parallelism observed was the result of a concerted practice put in place by the three companies to share equally the goodwill required by Terna, and this is due to the presence of objective evidence - the contacts between EGL and Repower - detectors existence of collusion, both to the impossibility of explaining, in an alternative way, the parallel behavior observed - in particular, the absence of a learning period from which could emerge shifts. The agreement, which lasted from the first half of April to the beginning of August 2010, had had any effect on expenditure incurred by Terna for the purchase of ancillary services, estimated at a greater burden of more than 900 thousand Euros, ie 5% of expenditure supported by the TSO during the period covered in the relevant market and, consequently, the price paid by domestic consumers of energy.