Paragraph 10 of that policy direction provides as follows:
"The Commission for Electricity Regulation will carry out a review of the overall trading arrangements early in 2004, with a view to introducing, after completion of the transitional period, appropriate wholesale market arrangements applying equally to all bulk electricity generation and supply in Ireland"
The CER decided in 2002, following extensive consultation and with the widespread support of the industry, to bring forward the review of the overall trading arrangements. This review was completed in April 2003, and at that stage the CER set out proposed new wholesale market arrangements, the Market Arrangement for Electricity (MAE), which it intended would replace the existing transitional arrangements. Statutory Instrument No. 304 of 2003, which set down the statutory provisions relating to these new trading arrangements was signed by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources on 17th July, 2003 and came into force on 21st July, 2003. The SI also established a market operation date for the MAE of February 19th, 2006.
The programme for the implementation of these new arrangements commenced in earnest at that stage. A chronological list of all documents published in relation to this implementation programme is given below.
On June 15th, 2004 the CER decided to put the implementation of the MAE on hold for a period of approximately 3-4 months. This period was primarily used to:
- consider changes to the MAE market design, particularly to explore the possibility that modifications to the MAE would facilitate a swift move to the an all-island market; and
- consider alternative approaches to the market implementation and procurement process.
On August 23rd, 2004 the CER signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Douglas McIldoon, the then Chairman of the Northern Ireland Authority for EnergyRegulation (NIAER), in relation to the development of an All Island Electricity Market. Both regulators agreed that the establishment of an All Island wholesale electricity market, coined the Single Electricity Market (SEM), was the first key project of this new programme of work. Further details on this project are available on the All Island Project website - www.allislandproject.org