The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office asks the National Court to sentence four Iberdrola executives to two years in prison for manipulating energy prices, and Iberdrola Generación to pay a fine of 84 million and compensation of up to 107 million.
This is stated in the indictment sent by the Prosecutor’s Office to the judge of the National High Court Ismael Moreno, whose court has investigated Iberdrola’s maneuvers at the end of 2013 to leave out of play the hydraulic plants that produced the cheapest. In this way, the price of electricity was married to the combined cycle power plants, with more expensive production.
The Prosecutor’s Office summarizes the result of the investigation as follows: “Iberdrola, in order to cause an increase in the price of electricity and harm consumers, devised and put into operation a system to increase the price of the energy it sold, more beyond what should result from the free concurrence of supply and demand”.
In order to achieve this “higher price in the electricity market”, for three weeks in December 2013 “it increased, without legitimate cause to justify it, the price in the electricity offers corresponding to its Duero, Sil and Tajo hydroelectric plants, to a level above the daily market price that prevented operations from being matched, despite the increase in electricity prices on the spot market during those days, which placed it at an optimal opportunity cost. Withdrawal of programming of the power plants referred to, that is, they stopped producing energy”.
The concrete result was that the previous megawatt rose 7,156 euros on those dates. With this, Iberdrola increased its income by 21,222,818 euros. Quadruple that amount is what Anticorruption is asking for as a fine (84,891,272 euros), in addition to the confiscation of the 21.2 million illegal profit.
The economic damage for the rest amounted to 107,340,000 euros. That is the figure for which you must compensate those affected. Damages to other trading companies totaled 10.5 million. The rest was borne by consumers with variable-price contracts and, in fixed-price contracts, by the insurance companies that provided the coverage.
The directors who will sit on the bench for a crime related to the market and consumers -unless the last pending appeal is successful- are Ángel Chiarri Toscano, Director of Energy Management; Gregorio Relaño Cobián, responsible for Optimization, Resource Management and Trading; José Luis Rapún Jiménez, Head of Asset Management; and Javier Paradinas Zorrilla, responsible for Short-Term Markets and Global Generation.
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