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Spain Daily Power Market Gets Rules to Integrate With Europe

Spain published rules for spot electricity markets and guidelines for further integration with trading platforms in northwest Europe.

The Iberian Electricity Market, known as Mibel, will harmonize closing times and other features for trading next-day power with counterparts on the continent and with the U.K., according to regulations published yesterday. The 122 pages of rules take effect today.

Spain’s market, which years ago joined with Portugal’s, will begin using a new algorithm to match orders on Feb. 4, the same date that day-ahead markets will be linked in 15 countries in northwest Europe. Integrating electricity trading in the 28-nation European Union, known as market coupling, is intended to aid competition by allowing power to flow more easily across borders to markets where prices are higher.

The Spanish power market was rocked last month when the government invalidated a quarterly auction held to fix the rates that 14 million consumers pay. Electricity prices for homes and small businesses would have jumped at least 11 percent overnight if the nation’s anti-monopoly regulator had validated the result.

The government said it will devise a new formula for setting consumer prices for electricity before the second quarter begins.

Day-ahead electricity settled on Dec. 16 at 89.40 euros ($121.19) a megawatt-hour, the highest close since at least 2007, before falling 26 percent through Dec. 19, the day the auction took place, broker data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Spain is expected to join the market-coupling project in May, Andrew Claxton, head of business development at the APX power exchange, said in an e-mail. He has been coordinating the U.K. link to northwest Europe.

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