Power regulator may act on pool price peaks

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THE ELECTRICITY regulator, Offer, said yesterday it could alter generators' operating licences in an effort to end what it sees as manipulation of wholesale electricity pool prices. "If we wanted to make a series of changes to the way in which the pool operated, it would probably be necessary to change licences," said the director-general of electricity and gas, Callum McCarthy.

Offer proposed last month to simplify the bidding process by generators in an effort to cut the number of price spikes - intraday peaks in the pool price - above 60 pounds per megawatt hour.

It said the spikes were the result of generators exploiting the complex bidding system into the pool, which acts as a clearing house between generators and customers and sets wholesale prices.

Offer said it would see if efforts by the pool to find its own way to eliminate peaks were successful before pursuing the simple bid idea.