On 19 and 20 December, regional projects for technical assistance to support day-ahead market coupling and cross-border balancing in the Western Balkans were kicked-off at meetings held under the Western Balkan 6 (WB6) Initiative in Vienna. First sub-regional market coupling projects will go live by mid-January 2018.
Beneficiaries of the two contracts are 6 Energy Community Contracting Parties, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
“The objective of the technical assistance implemented by the Energy Community Secretariat is to assist the WB6 and neighboring EU transmission system operators (TSO), national regulatory authorities and power exchanges in the preparation and implementation of market coupling projects and platforms for cross-border balancing cooperation. The projects are expected to be finalized by end 2018 as agreed under the Western Balkan 6 Memorandum of Understanding (WB6 MoU),” the Energy Community Secretariat said in a statement.
These are the two largest projects to be implemented under the contract signed between the European Commission and the Energy Community Secretariat to provide technical assistance to connectivity in the WB in relation to the regional energy market.
The technical assistance to the Implementation of a Cross-border Electricity Balancing will consist of providing the expert support needed to develop a consistent and feasible roadmap for cross-border balancing cooperation.
The technical assistance to the Implementation of a WB6 Day-ahead Market Coupling (WB6 DA MI) will consist of providing project management support to the WB6 Governance bodies, and expert support needed throughout different phases of the implementation of any individual market coupling project that will be defined in the roadmap.
The Program Steering Committee for the Day-ahead Market Integration in Western Balkan 6 will use the dedicated assistance to implement the roadmap for day-ahead market coupling, envisaging seven market coupling projects between WB6 and with all neighboring EU Member States.
“The Secretariat and the Committee agreed on the work methodology and next steps, according to which the first sub-regional market coupling projects will go live by mid-January 2018,” the Secretariat underlined.
Political support crucial
The technical assistance for cross-border balancing will be used to support the efforts of the Program Steering Committee for the Cross-border Balancing to implement platforms for imbalance netting and cross-border exchange of balancing energy by end 2018. The platforms will be developed based on European rules and practice, as an intermediary step towards full integration into European platforms for balancing cooperation.
“Continuous political support of the WB6 and EU Member State Governments to the process of developing regional day-ahead and balancing markets under the Western Balkan 6 Initiative will be crucial for the successful implementation of the projects,” the Secretariat said.