Ireland’s electricity regulator yesterday extended the timetable for the second virtual independent power producer auction. The settlement period has been extended to facilitate suppliers signing up contracts with customers.

The auction is for conventionally generated non-green electricity and provides independent suppliers with a source of power to sell, ahead of the availability of power from independent generators that are still being built.

The Invitation to Bid and the Contract Agreement for VIPP2 was published on the Commission’s website on Monday.

“We have listened and reacted to supplier suggestions in designing this auction,” Tom Reeves, the commissioner, said. “There is a significantly reduced capacity charge, capacity can be booked at a minimum charge and it can both be ramped up and down to meet the market needs.”

Features of the auction include:

-No single bidder may hold more than 40 per cent of the VIPP options;

-The ESB, Ireland’s state-owned generator, will offer 600 options in 1 MW tranches;

-The capacity component will be €12/MWh (or €8,760 a month) and the energy component price will be €30/MWh;

-Approximately 50 per cent of the energy prices will be indexed to fuel price movement. Fuel indices have been revised to offer maximum hedging opportunity.

The regulator said the auctions ought to result in free-market prices around 10 per cent lower than the level of regulated tariffs.

Further details of the auctions are posted on the Commission’s website www.cer.ie.