Decision on use of BETTA rebate in Northern Ireland

Ofreg decision (3 pages, Microsoft Word) on the use of the BETTA rebate paid by the Scottish transmission company SP Transmission to NIEH, the company responsible for the Northern Ireland-Scotland electricity interconnector. The decision is dated September 2006 but was only released in November 2006 alongside responses to the February 2006 consultation.

Some responses (e.g. NIE's, 5 pages, Microsoft Word) had been critical of Ofreg's decision to allow some of the money to be invested in a fund to back renewable energy projects. Ofreg's defence is based on assertions that the money has been loaned on market terms (not gifted) by NIEH to the fund, and that the fund will make investments in a non-discriminatory manner and on market terms "with a view to attaining an attractive rate of return for all parties". On that basis Ofreg claims that there is no State aid or competition issue, and that complaints about the undue removal of a benefit that should have accrued to customers are unjustified.

Ofreg "has decided not to make a final decision at this point on how to direct the remaining amounts of the BETTA rebate" until arrangements for a single electricity market and settlement area with the Republic of Ireland "crystallise". It is not clear which of the options raised in February 2006 are still under consideration, or whether some all-Island costs might end up being covered by the rebate if funding for the interconnector is placed on an all-Island basis. Ofreg promises to consult before "finalising any further imbursement".

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Electricity, Ofreg.

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