SSE PLC (LON:SSE) has been hit with a £2.1mln fine as it becomes the first company in Europe penalised by an energy watchdog for failing to publish inside information about the wholesale energy market.
The fine imposed by Ofgem related to the signing on March 16, 2016, by SSE of an agreement with National Grid to provide a 'black start' emergency capability from one of its three generating units at its Fiddler's Ferry power station from the following month, having previously reported that the units were likely to close from that date.
SEE announced the contract once it had been finalised on March 30, 2016.
With Fiddler's Ferry, which finally closed earlier this year, able to generate a total energy capacity equivalent to 3% of Britain’s peak electricity demand, Ofgem said “these units had a significant impact on GB demand and supply, affecting wholesale prices”.
“SSE's delay in making a public announcement resulted in four days trading without the market knowing that more generation was likely to be available than previously thought. It is likely this led to some market participants paying more for wholesale electricity than they should have,” the regulator added in a statement.
It said SSE “breached legal requirements on the publication of inside information because it made the wrong decision about whether it was in possession of inside information”.
This transgressed the Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) rules, where ‘inside information’ is information which is likely to significantly affect the price of wholesale energy.
Under the rules, market participants must publish inside information in an “effective and timely” manner.