Wholesale Electricity Market Rules Ready By 2021

The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) is set to finalise plans to develop market rules that will govern the activities of participants in the Ghana Wholesale Electricity Market (GWEM) by the year 2021.

The rules are to assist the Electricity Market Oversight Panel (EMOP), an oversight body, to govern market procedures, manual and procedures for settling complaints and disputes among market participants.

This is to be achieved through clear definition of rights and obligations of market participants in the sector.

An administrator of EMOP, Eric Kyem, in an interview, disclosed that steps had been taken to develop a market design which is a pre-requisite for the market rules.

“The draft of market design has been presented to stakeholders for inputs, and the EMOP is actually supervising this activity,” he added.

Participants in the market are classified as wholesale suppliers made up of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the Government of Ghana with institutions such as Volta River Authority (VRA) and Bui Power Authority.

It also consists of electricity distribution utilities, electricity brokers and bulk customers.

Mr Kyem, who was speaking at EMOP Stakeholder Engagement held in Accra, also appealed to the participants to promptly honour financial obligations since it had mostly relied on support from the Energy Commission.

“According to Section 21 (1) of (Legislative Instrument (LI) 1937), the oversight activity for each fiscal year is to be recovered through the levies on each market participant by the transmission utility,” he explained.

The head of Systems Operations, GRIDCO, Mark Awuah Baah, called for financial sustainability of the sector through fair tariff regimes in order to promote sector investment.

“It’s known that the 2 per cent of the Sahara desert alone can power the entire world with electricity using solar,” he said.

The Principal Legal Expert of ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) Oumar Bangoura, also stressed the need for West African countries to pool resources together in order to establish a regional power hub.

He said that only nine countries in the region are electrically linked on bilateral basis.

Mr. Bangoura was optimistic that commitment from heads of states towards the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) project would help address energy problems in the area of energy transmission, shortage of skilled technicians and financial resources for the implementation of energy projects of member states.

The Electricity Regulations, 2008, (L.I. 1937) mandates EMOP to oversee the operations and administrative functions of the market operator.

The EMOP is made up of an 11-member panel that has representatives from Energy Commission, Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Electricity Transmission Utility, wholesale suppliers and distribution licensees.

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