The judge proposes to convict Iberdrola for inflating the price of electricity with the reservoirs


The investigation lasted five years after a complaint from Anti-Corruption and a fine from the CNMC to the company of 25 million

New judicial front for Iberdrola. After the investigation of the electricity company’s president, Ignacio Galán, and a subsidiary of the energy company in the ‘Villarejo case’, another court of the National Court has shown the bank to four executives and Iberdrola Generación for manipulating the price of electricity with the use of the reservoirs between the months of November and December 2013.

In an injunction, investigating judge Ismael Moreno has ended a five-year investigation and has suggested that the Criminal Chamber try the suspects for crimes against the market and consumers. The alleged criminal operation resulted in a profit of 21.5 million euros for the company and a loss for consumers of about 100 million due to the increase in the electricity price.

In this resolution, the head of the Central Court of Instruction number two agreed to continue the accelerated proceedings (similar to the hearing) of a case that started in 2017 after a complaint filed by the Anti-Corruption Public ministry. The instructor explains that the procedures carried out over all these years, including an enrollment and registration at the Iberdrola Generación headquarters in Madrid and Bilbao, are sufficient to complete the investigation.

The largest company on the Ibex 35 by market capitalization – which has already accepted a 25 million fine from the CNMC for a very serious violation – in late 2013 reduced the production of the hydroelectric power plants of the rivers Duero, Sil and Tagus in order to lower the price of electricity. . These are some of the facts Anti-Corruption collected in its complaint, in which it pointed out that “to profit illegally” Iberdrola devised and put in place a system to increase the price of energy sold and for no legitimate reason to do so. justify .

These actions, allegedly repeated last summer with the emptying of the reservoirs of Ricobayo (Zamora) and Valdecañas (Cáceres), have led to the cancellation of the programming of the multinational factories.

In the case of the 2013 episode, the magistrate explains that in the weeks prior to the alleged price manipulation, the bid did not exceed EUR 70 per megawatt hour (MW/h), while between the end of November and December of that year, the demand was 15,000 gigawatt hours (GWh). The consequence of this reduction in reservoirs was an increase in the energy price of about EUR 7 per megawatt/hour, hurting demand to EUR 105 million.

In addition, the instructor dedicates a large part of his car to the sanction file that was opened for this in the CNMC to the Basque multinational. In this regard, it explains that, given all the facts gathered by the regulatory body, the national court found it “important” to investigate how this decision was made within Iberdrola Generación and who carried it out.

The judicial police confiscated copious documentation and took statements from workers of Iberdrola Generación. The witnesses provided vital information about these price manipulations and the areas responsible, allowing the court to clarify a chain of command over these decisions and indict four of its directors at the time: the person in charge of Energy Management, Ángel Chiarri; the former head of Resource Management and Trading Optimization, Gregorio Relaño; the head of asset management José Luis Rapún; and his counterpart in Short-Term Markets and Global Generation, Javier Paradinas.

Faced with the criteria of the investigators, the multinational has defended that it is an “administrative mismatch” between the CNMC and Iberdrola and confirmed that independent experts can prove that there was no economic damage to the market. An appeal can be lodged with the Chamber against the decision of the judge.

Source: La Verdad


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