Bulgaria and Romania: This year’s electricity market coupling

, SEE Energy News

Strategic progress has been reported for the day-ahead market coupling between Bulgaria and Romania, the Bulgarian Independent Energy Exchange (IBEX) said. The updated project roadmap has been approved in accordance with the go-live period of the Interim Coupling Project (ICP) in May, which aims at connecting the borders of the 4MMC market coupling (Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia) with the Multiregional Coupling (MRC).

The implementation of the Interim Coupling is a prerequisite for implementation of the market coupling between Bulgaria and Romania which is expected to go live around mid-August 2020. Trading participants will be additionally notified of the next steps and upcoming tests. The effects for the electricity market in Bulgaria as a result of the market coupling with Romania are: firstly – increased competition considering the access of trading participants to a large number of orders; secondly – a material decrease in market concentration. The main supplier for the day-ahead market in Bulgaria are the generators of BEH group. The market coupling will enable sellers from all over Europe to automatically turn into suppliers of power in our country. The free capacities for trading on the Bulgarian-Romanian border once the market coupling is launched are expected to be around 700-800 MW for every hour. Since the very beginning of real electricity exchange trading in Bulgaria in 2016, IBEX has been a full member of the coupling of all European power exchanges – MRC (Multi Regional Coupling), currently SDAC (Single Day Ahead Coupling), as well as of SIDC (Single Intraday Coupling). The participation in these couplings allows, on the one hand, the energy exchange operators to aggregate the orders registered in the electronic trading systems and on the other, the transmission system operators to provide data on the available cross-border transmission rights or the so called capacities. Currently the clearing prices and volumes of IBEX are calculated together with the other energy exchanges in Europe, the said data about the capacities not being provided however. The market coupling provides automatic access of Bulgarian trading participants to the orders of the other trading participants all over Europe. The specific access is determined by the capacities, i.e. how much electricity can physically flow from one national system to another.