AGL 'forced electricity prices higher'  

Posted by Big Gav in

The SMH has an article on questions being asked about the role of AGL in high electricity prices in South Australia and gas prices in NSW - AGL 'forced electricity prices higher'.

AGL has been criticised by the Australian Energy Regulator after continued attempts to ''exercise market power'' by forcing the electricity price sharply higher earlier this year and in 2008. ...

Earlier this year, spot electricity wholesale prices exceeded $5000 a megawatt hour on 27 occasions in South Australia, accounting for about half of all high price events in the electricity market so far this year.

''The bidding behaviour of AGL has been a contributing factor on at least several occasions,'' Mr Willett said.

In early 2008, AGL often sought to set wholesale electricity prices at around the market price cap of $10,000 per megawatt hour, Mr Willett said, by changing the bidding practices of its Torrens Island power station in South Australia.

In the gas market, AGL was also involved in gas supply problems in 2007, when insuff-icient gas reserves were shipped to Sydney, causing shortages and disruption to industry.

At the time, there were claims AGL had diverted gas to the South Australian market to take advantage of higher gas prices; AGL subsequently agreed there were no physical reasons for the lack of supply.

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