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 Market Trial FAQs 

 
1. What is I-SEM Market Trial?



2. Where can I find a description of the I-SEM Market Trial?



3. Why are we doing a Market Trial?



4. When do preparations for the Market Trial start?



5. Should I participate in the Market Trial and will it require a lot of effort?



6. What is the approach we are taking to the Market Trial?



7. Will the Market Trial provide a forecast of what prices will be in the I-SEM?



8. How does the Market Trial relate to other I-SEM preparation activities?



9. Will there be any other trialling activities?



10. How will I be kept informed of the I-SEM Market Trial?



11. Who can I contact to find out more information on the I-SEM Market Trial?



12. Will the Market Trial Environment be separate and distinct from the test environment and will the two environments exist side by side for the duration of the Market Trial?



13. Will the Market Trial environment become the production environment and will there be a 3rd set of credentials issued?



14. Will a complete set of settlement invoices be issued throughout the Market Trials? Is it accurate to characterise that the only difference between trial and live from the perspective of market participants, is that these settlement invoices will actually require physical transfer of funds?



15. Registration activities including adding a new unit, removing units and changing data are not mentioned in the scenarios but are in the scope document. Will these be trialed?



16. Given the working assumption of SEMO for Go-Live is that Block Orders will be available for the Day-Ahead Auction, will the detailed scenarios include this in scope?



17. Will the interfaces for Meter Data Providers be tested in the Market Trial?



18. What is meant by the Coordinated Capacity Calculation which is in scope for Market Trial?



19. How many copies of the Market Trial Agreement need to be posted to SEMO?



20. At what company level does the Market Trial Agreement need to be signed? Party, unit or intermediary level?




1. What is I-SEM Market Trial?

The Market Trial is a dress rehearsal for live operation of I-SEM. The central bodies that provide the infrastructure for the I-SEM markets (for example, the TSOs and the Meter Data Providers) will provide a trialling version of I-SEM which will be “as–live” (this means as close to the live I-SEM environment as can be practically achieved). Market Participants will use this to exercise their I-SEM systems, processes, and to allow their staff to practice operations.

A good way of viewing the Market Trial is that it is a reduced form of the live operation, rather than a type of testing
.

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2. Where can I find a description of the I-SEM Market Trial?

The description of the I-SEM Market Trial can be found in the Market Trial Strategy here and Market Trial Plan here.

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3. Why are we doing a Market Trial?

The Market Trial mitigates the risks associated with the start of live operation of the complex I-SEM arrangements. It forms a bridge between the rigorous, but somewhat artificial, circumstances found in testing, and live operation.

It is common practice internationally for large programmes in the power sector, such as I-SEM, to undertake Market Trialling
.

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4. When do preparations for the Market Trial start?

The next stage in planning, including the production of the Market Trial Plan has been completed and provides more details of the preparation stage. The Market Trial Plan is available on the I-SEM website here.

Additionally, the Market Trial Working Group has been established since July 2017 to provide participants with up-to-date preparation details. For the published materials from these sessions, please visit the Market Trial webpage
here. 

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5. Should I participate in the Market Trial and will it require a lot of effort?

There are real and substantial benefits from taking part in the Market Trial. The ability to practice operations and to get a preview of how I-SEM will work will be very valuable. There have been examples in other new markets where Market Participants have made very expensive mistakes due to inadequate operational preparedness.

Preparing for the Market Trial, and then taking part in its execution will require an investment of time and resources from all those taking part. However, thorough preparation will pay dividends both during the Trial and in subsequent live operation
.

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6. What is the approach we are taking to the Market Trial?

The overall approach we are taking is described in the Market Trial Strategy here. Further details are described in the Market Trial Plan here. Some of the features include:

  • The TSOs’ I-SEM Project will manage and coordinate the Market Trial
  • The intention is to start the Market Trial with, so far as possible, a stable and complete set of registration data
  • It is hoped that all Market Participants will take part in the Market Trial
  • The defined criteria for entering, starting, and completing the Market Trial are outlined in the Market Trial Entry Exit Criteria
  • The Market Trial will include the Day-Ahead Market/Intraday Market and Balancing Market (including Imbalance Settlement)
  • Interfaces to and aspects of the Financial Transmission Rights (FTR) Market and the Capacity Market (CM)
  • There will be three phases in the Market Trial:
    1)  Establishment Phase - during which we will set up the trialling configuration with Market Participants connected
    2)  Scripted Phase - during which a fully pre-defined set of Scenarios will be executed
    3)  Unscripted Phase - during which Market Participants will be free to choose how they wish to operate
  • The Market Trial will be scheduled for the duration of approximately 6 months
  • The Market Trial will be carried out under the auspices of a Market Trial Agreement

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7. Will the Market Trial provide a forecast of what prices will be in the I-SEM?

The Market Trial will provide assurance that the I-SEM operational processes are working and as part of this, Market Participants will see outcomes such as prices. However, the Market Trial will not be designed to rigorously simulate or forecast outcomes such as prices. There are various reasons why the prices calculated in the Market Trial may not represent outcomes in the live market. For example, the trialling environment will differ in some ways from “live” operation and/or data used in the Market Trial may not be completely analogous to “live” operation and/or Market Participants are unlikely to behave in the same way in the Market Trial as they will in "live" trading.

The Market Trial will demonstrate that the appropriate components of I-SEM, ie. the pricing algorithms, have been invoked when required.

Please note that the assurance about the correctness of the detailed calculations in central systems will have been provided prior to the start of the Market Trial through testing (including certification where appropriate)
.

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8. How does the Market Trial relate to other I-SEM preparation activities?

The Market Trial is where many of the preparations for I-SEM come together including:

  • Systems and processes will be tested before they are used in the Market Trial
  • Operational staff will be trained before they participate in the Market Trial
  • Registration will be substantially completed before the Market Trial starts
  • The outcomes of the Market Trial will inform the Go-live decision making process

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9. Will there be any other trialling activities?

Prior to the first Financial Transmission Rights (FTR) market auction and the first Capacity Market (CM) auction, trialling activities will have been undertaken to demonstrate these will operate correctly. These trialling activities will be separate from the main Market Trial. However, the Market Trial will include other aspects of the FTR and CM arrangements. For more information on the FTR Trialing, please see here.

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10. How will I be kept informed of the I-SEM Market Trial?

Information will be discussed and distributed through the Market Trial Working Group. Publications from the past sessions can be found here. Updates are provided at other relevant liaison groups such as the Project Managers Group and the Technical Liaison Group.

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11. Who can I contact to find out more information on the I-SEM Market Trial?

For more information on the I-SEM Market Trial, please see the I-SEM Market Trial Webpage here. If you have further queries or feedback, please contact us at I-SEMMarketTrial@sem-o.com.

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12. Will the Market Trial Environment be separate and distinct from the test environment and will the two environments exist side by side for the duration of the Market Trial?

Yes, the Market Trial environment is separate from the CCQT/PIT environment. The CCQT/PIT environment will remain open for a period during Market Trial before being closed. Market Trial Credentials will be issued in advance of the commencement date on 1 December 2017, the specifics of which will be outlined closer to the time.

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13. Will the Market Trial environment become the production environment and will there be a 3rd set of credentials issued?

The Market Trial environment for the Balancing Market will become the Production environment at Go-Live. The credentials used for Market Trial will be applicable for Go-Live for the Balancing Market. However, for the Day-Ahead / Intraday Market, there will be separate Market Trial and Production environments..

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14. Will a complete set of settlement invoices be issued throughout the Market Trials? Is it accurate to characterise that the only difference between trial and live from the perspective of market participants, is that these settlement invoices will actually require physical transfer of funds?

It is anticipated that settlement invoices will be issued at some point during Market Trials. This categorisation is essentially correct, although Participants may be asked to transfer a nominal amount (€1) during Market Trial to test the system is working correctly.

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15. Registration activities including adding a new unit, removing units and changing data are not mentioned in the scenarios but are in the scope document. Will these be Trialed?

Registration should be completed prior to Market Trial as this information will be used during the Trial. Any changes in registration data will need to follow the registration process. For more info, please contact I-SEMRegistration@sem-o.com.

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16. Given the working assumption of SEMO for Go-Live is that Block Orders will be available for the Day-Ahead Auction, will the detailed scenarios include this in scope?

The purpose of the Market Trial is to demonstrate the I-SEM functionality in a risk free environment prior to Go-Live. The Trial is not structured as a forum for confirming or testing requirements. Consequently, the Trial will demonstrate the functionality (including order types) that has been deployed as at December 2017.

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17. Will the interfaces for Meter Data Providers be tested in the Market Trial?

The Market Trial is structured to demonstrate the I-SEM functionality and not as a formal test of specific requirements. Operating I-SEM from bid-bank will require a demonstration of the Meter Data Interfaces.

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18. What is meant by the Coordinated Capacity Calculation which is in scope for Market Trial?

The CCC functionality is provided through a system being developed by the I-SEM Programme for use by the TSOs and ICOs. It enables the available electricity transfer capacity cross border to be determined with the intention of maximising the capacity being offered to the market.

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19. How many copies of the Market Trial Agreement need to be posted to SEMO?

Please email 1 signed soft-copy of the Market Trial Agreement to I-SEMRegistration@sem-o.com by mid-day 25th October 2017 at the latest.

Then, please submit 3 hard-copies of the original of the Market Trial Agreements to arrive no later than mid-day 27th October 2017 via registered post addressed to:

I-SEM Market Trial Agreement;
I-SEM Registration
EirGrid, The Oval
160 Shelbourne Road
Dublin 4
D04 FW28
Ireland

NOTE: Please sign but DO NOT date the back page of the agreement.


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20. At what company level does the Market Trial Agreement need to be signed? Party, unit or intermediary level?

An appointed intermediary that will be participating in the Market Trial and is registered in a particular market can sign on behalf of their clients / units. Otherwise, any entity (ie. Party) wishing to take part in the Market Trial directly whether in the Balancing Market, Day-Ahead / Intraday Market or Capacity Mock Auctions should complete a Market Trial Agreement.

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SEMO is a joint venture between EirGrid PLC and SONI Limited