In November 2004, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and the Department of Communications Marine and Natural Resources, together with the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (Utility Regulator) and the CER, published a Development Framework for an All Island Energy Market, setting out the dates by which they expect to achieve these unified markets.
The CER and the Utility Regulator have begun the first phase of the project as set out in the Framework Document - the establishment of an all-island wholesale electricity market, known as the Single Electricity Market (SEM). The SEM high-level design was completed in June 2005 and on foot of this the CER and Utility Regulator, set to work on the implementation of a suite of arrangements necessary for SEM Go Live by 1 November 2007. On 1 November 2007 the SEM came into effect with the trading and settlement of wholesale electricity in Ireland and Northern Ireland on an all-island basis.
The SEM consists of a market based on a gross mandatory pool, into which all electricity generated or imported onto the island of Ireland must be sold, and from which all wholesale electricity for consumption or export from the island of Ireland must be purchased (save for generators which have a maximum export capacity of less than 10MW for whom direct participation is voluntary). The key design features of the SEM are the pool arrangements where all generators receive and all supplier units pay the same single System Marginal Price (SMP) and a system of collection and distribution of payments for capacity based on fixed amounts determined annually. The rules of the market are set out in the SEM Trading and Settlement Code.
The SEM is regulated by the SEM Committee, which is a cross-jurisdictional body made up of the two regulatory authorities (CER and Utility Regulator) and an independent member.
For a high-level overview of SEM, how it is governed and how it operates, please see the CER factsheet on SEM which is available here.
For SEM related publications please refer to the AIP website at www.allislandproject.org