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To be remunerated for your flexibilities, you may participate in the balancing mechanism by becoming a balancing service provide.

Beneficiaries

  • Market participants

  • Generators

  • Consumers

Balancing of the grid

The operation of the power system requires that generation must be equal to consumption at all times.

RTE ensures this balance in real time, factoring in consumption and generation variability (weather, power generation availability, etc.). To maintain the balance between supply and demand, RTE requires dispatchable power reserves, both upward and downward, from capacities based in France or the rest of Europe.

There are three types of reserves which can be successively applied:

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The balancing mechanism allows RTE to dispatch reserves

  • to ensure the generation-consumption balance in real time
  • contribute towards managing network congestion
  • reconstitute reserves
  • reconstitute frequency ancillary services.

A balancing service provider, in connection with generators and consumers, submits energy balancing bids. Bids which meet the requirement in terms of price and system constraints are dispatched and activated by RTE. The principle of selection of bids is known as the technical and economic merit order.

What is a balancing bid?

A balancing energy bid is manually activated and submitted by a market participant to RTE to adjust its generation or its consumption, upwards (increased generation or reduced consumption) or downwards (decreased generation or increased consumption). This bid is defined by a direction (upward or downward), a price and conditions of use.

Balancing energy bids intended to be shared at European level on balancing platforms are known as standard product bids and have characteristics which must comply with a predefined template. Those intended exclusively for balancing needs of mainland France are called specific products and their characteristics are specified by the balancing service provider.

The activation of balancing operations is settled at the bid price or the marginal price (depending on the type of bid) after RTE has verified the metered volume.

Balancing on a European scale

Member States to benefit from the most competitive resources in Europe at any given time. For mechanisms such as the balancing mechanism and frequency ancillary services, the European Guideline on Electricity Balancing defines the main axes of the transition to a supply-demand balance market which is integrated on the European level. In force since December 2017, the Guideline on Electricity Balancing establishes the technical, operational and market terms and conditions for the procurement of balancing capacity, activation of balancing energy and their financial settlement.

RTE is in charge implementing the Guideline on Electricity Balancing in France. This is based on the use of standard balancing products (RR, mFRR, aFRR, RCFS) and involves several European countries in various projects: TERRE, MARI, PICASSO, FCR Cooperation and IGCC initiative.

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Contracting with RTE

To become a balancing service provider, you are required to comply with the MA-RE Terms and Conditions established in consultation with the market participants and approved by the French Energy Regulatory Commission by signing a participation agreement as a balancing service provider (if you have facilities requiring scheduling, you also need to acquire the status of scheduling agent).

To do this, you need to:

  1. fill in the Appendix 1 of the Ma-RE Terms and Conditions section 1, application to become a balancing service provider and/or scheduling agent and send it to marketservices@te-france.com
  2. Iif you do not have an EIC code, please make the request through the online form
  3. send the documents and information listed in annex 1 of the MA-RE Terms and Conditions
  4. send the information contained in the following document: List of elements to provide for the participation agreement as a balancing service provider and/or scheduling agent
  5. declare the elements making up your balance perimeter
  6. Follow the prequalification process of balancing service providers and capacities. This process includes taking IT tests.

Your services as a balancing service provider

RTE offers a set of services for each balancing service provider to carry out and optimise their activity, including:

  • publication of public and private data on the Customer Services Portal (HMI and downloads) and on the Transparency platform of ENTSOE
  • provision of data via APIs on the data portal.
  • Access to the market services and applications to send forecast dispatch schedules, submit specific or standard product balancing bids, receive balancing orders, send final dispatch schedules and retrieve data for settlement of balancing operations.

To access these services, you may need to create an account and/or hold a PKI certificate.

Additional information

Reference documentation

Contact

For any questions, please contact marketservices@rte-france.com