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A massive mistake made by a Finnish energy company could see locals getting paid to use electricity—but only theoretically.
The bizarre situation arose, after an electricity supplier, Kinect Energy, accidentally offered to sell an amount of electricity it could not produce.
This plunged local electricity prices deep below zero, reaching a negative 203 euros per megawatt-hour, Bloomberg reported.
The company offered to sell close to 5,800 MW of electricity an hour for delivery today, which was a lot more than it could physically secure.
“Slightly simplified, you can say that they sold something they didn’t have, and buyers bought something that doesn’t exist,” said the head of power system operation at Sweden’s grid operator, Svenska Kraftnat, as quoted by Bloomberg.
The company that made the mistake blamed it on an “internal system error”.
“We are working with other market parties to solve this extreme situation,” Kinect Energy said in a filing.
Electricity prices on the Nord Pool market meanwhile continued to plunge, with the Finnish price reaching a negative 500 euros per megawatt-hour at midnight last night.
The country’s grid operator said it would make intraday electricity purchases to ensure the stability of the system and balancing supply with demand.
Business Insider recalls that earlier this year there was a similar situation in Finland, when overproduction of hydropower caused electricity prices to fall below zero. Consumers did not get paid for using electricity then, the report notes.
“Market participants have been requested to resubmit positions on the intraday market to bring back into production the generation capacity that was withdrawn from the market due to the incorrect price,” Fingrid, the country’s grid operator, said in a statement.
“In addition Fingrid shall take all necessary measures to balance production and consumption and safeguard security of supply,” the grid operator said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com