Open and non-discriminatory access to the networks by those who do not own the physical network infrastructure, known as third party access (TPA), is fundamental in facilitating greater competition and making energy markets work effectively.
Owners and operators of the electricity networks, the transmission system operator (SO) and the distribution system operators (DSOs), and the owners/ operators of interconnectors, are obliged by European legislation and related licence conditions to provide non-discriminatory access to their lines, pipes and other facilities to third parties.
Under EU legislation, interconnectors, storage facilities and LNG import terminals may apply for an exemption from being required to offer access to third parties. This route is intended to promote the development of such facilities within GB.
Ofgem considers each request for exemption on a case by case basis to see if certain criteria set out in legislation are met. We have already taken a number of decisions to provide exemptions.
As part of the granting of an exemption we may, and in some circumstances are required to, impose certain conditions on the operation of the facility (for example, the exemption may be limited to a certain time period).
The GB Markets team oversees the process for considering applications for exemption from the Directive Regulated Third Party Access (RTPA) requirements. This largely covers the following types of infrastructure development:
- gas and electricity interconnectors to other countries
- gas storage facilities
- Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) importation facilities.