ECOWAS regulators endorse key documents for regional electricity market

erera-logo-ecowasMembers of the Consultative Committees of Regulators and operators of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) have endorsed key documents towards the first phase of the regional electricity market.

The templates for the bilateral contracts would serve as a reference for revised or new contracts by Member States when the first phase of the West African electricity market begins in 2016.

The endorsement was made after ERERA held their sixth meeting in Accra from November 17 to November 18.  The two-day conference was to specifically consider the status of the implementation of the ECOWAS ministerial Directive on the organization of the regional electricity market issued in 2013.

The various types of bilateral contracts – in the short, medium and long term, as well as those for connection and use of the regional transmission network – are currently being developed by the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) and will be presented to ERERA for adoption.

The adoption would be preceded by consultations with stakeholders in the regional electricity market, including operators and national regulators.

It was also agreed at the meeting, that contracts on cross-border electricity trade already in place will remain valid according to their originally agreed terms, in accordance with the provisions of the 2013 ECOWAS ministerial Directive on the organization of the regional electricity market.

The Directive, which provides the general framework for governing the regional electricity market within the framework of the ECOWAS Energy Protocol, also relates to the operations of the electricity market principles.

These include the market design and phases, open access to the regional transmission network and access by eligible customers, as well as the harmonization of cross-border contractual arrangements.

Members of the Committees of Regulators and Operators took note of the status of implementation of the Directive by member states and the challenges faced in its implementation.

The updates would form part of a report to be presented to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers at their next meeting in December.

Participants who reviewed the draft regional dispute resolution procedures and enforcement rules agreed to further review the regulations so as to clarify the deadlines for settlement of disputes, among other issues, before their adoption by ERERA.

In addition, they endorsed the proposal by ERERA for a rebranding of the institution’s annual flagship Forum of regional regulators.

The Forum seeks to promote cooperation and exchange of information amongst practitioners in the electricity sector in West Africa, including regulatory authorities of ECOWAS Member States.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Energy, National Regulatory Authorities, operators in the production, transmission and distribution of electricity in ECOWAS Member States as well as the General Secretariat of the Cotonou-based WAPP.

Source: GNA

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