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EPEX SPOT and Swissgrid prepare for Market Coupling on Swiss borders

Frick/Paris, 7 November 2013.

National grid company Swissgrid and European Power Exchange EPEX SPOT signed a Cooperation Agreement to enable Day-Ahead Market Coupling on Swiss borders. Market Coupling shall be implemented if competent authorities of the European Union and Switzerland don’t have objections.

Frick/Paris, 07/11/2013 – The European Power Exchange EPEX SPOT and the Transmission System Operator Swissgrid AG started cooperating with the aim to be ready to launch day-ahead market coupling projects in cooperation with other neighboring Transmission System Operators (TSOs). The partnership is based upon the Price Coupling of Regions (PCR), which was chosen as the market coupling solution for the integration of the European electricity market. It is therefore consistent with the roadmap for the integration of the European internal electricity market published by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). To this end, on 6 November 2013, with acceptance of the Swiss regulatory authority ElCom, the parties have signed a cooperation agreement defining the scope and the main features of their partnership. EPEX SPOT and Swissgrid will cooperate in day-ahead Market Coupling projects on Swiss borders. This includes the present activities on the Italian Border Market Coupling Initiative as well as future initiatives on the other Swiss borders. Furthermore, EPEX SPOT will establish a subsidiary in Switzerland located in Bern, to answer the needs of the Swiss stakeholders and, in particular, to guarantee compliant market data provision to authorities according to Swiss legislation. The cooperation of Swissgrid and EPEX SPOT regarding Market Coupling will use the already existing trading platforms for the Swiss market without introducing new ones. There will be no impact on the current trading possibilities of members on the Swiss market platforms currently operated by EPEX SPOT. By entering into the «Cooperation Agreement», Swissgrid and EPEX SPOT are making another step to strongly contribute to the integration process of wholesale electricity markets within Europe.

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Swissgrid is Switzerland’s national Grid Company. As the owner of the Swiss extra-high-voltage grid, it is responsible for operating the grid safely and without discrimination, and for maintaining, modernising and expanding the grid efficiently and with respect for the environment. Swissgrid employs over 400 highly qualified people from sixteen countries at sites in Frick, Laufenburg and Vevey. As a member of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), it is also responsible for grid planning, system management and market design in the cross-border exchange of electricity in Europe. Seventeen Swiss electricity companies jointly hold the entire share capital of Swissgrid.

EPEX SPOT SE operates the power spot markets for France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Day-Ahead and Intraday). Together these countries account for more than one third of the European electricity consumption. EPEX SPOT SE is a European company (Societas Europaea) based in Paris with a branch in Leipzig. 285 TWh were traded on EPEX SPOT’s power markets in the first ten months of 2013.

Price Coupling of Regions (PCR) is the initiative of seven European Power Exchanges (APX, Belpex, EPEX SPOT, GME, Nord Pool Spot, OMIE and OTE), to develop a single price coupling solution to be used to calculate electricity prices across Europe and allocate cross-border capacity on a day-ahead basis. This is crucial to achieve the overall EU target of a harmonized European electricity market. The integrated European electricity market is expected to increase liquidity, efficiency and social welfare. PCR is open to other European Power Exchanges wishing to join.