European power exchanges plan cross-border intraday trading

PARIS Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:51am EST

PARIS Feb 10 (Reuters) - Four European power exchanges have agreed to develop an intra-day market for electricity, which will be better able to balance price swings caused by intermittent solar and wind energy than the current day-head markets.

Wind and solar energy output can swing strongly on an hourly basis, which makes cross-border flows hard to coordinate. The European Commission has been keen on developing intraday trading to ensure larger portions of renewables output can be integrated into Europe's wholesale power market.

The Paris-based European Power Exchange (EPEX), which operates the power spot markets for Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland, said on Monday it had signed a cooperation agreement for cross-border intraday trading with exchanges in the Benelux, UK, Scandinavia and Iberia.

This would create an intraday market stretching from Stockholm to Madrid.

The other exchanges are APX and its unit Belpex, which operate power markets in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Belgium; Nord Pool Spot, which operates power markets in the Nordic and Baltic region; and OMIE, which operates Iberian spot electricity markets.

EPEX said the common technical system will be based on continuous cross-border trading, where intraday adjustments to trades concluded in the day-ahead market can be made.

It gave no cost estimate or timeframe for the start of the project, which has been under discussion for months.

European Transmission System Operators - which operate Europe's high-voltage power grids - will also cooperate, while Deutsche Boerse AG will deliver a technical system, EPEX said. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Nina Chestney; Editing by Pravin Char)