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To be remunerated for your flexibilities, you may participate in the frequency ancillary services by becoming a reserve provider.


  • Market participants

  • Generators

  • Consumers

Frequency Ancillary services

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:


Frequency ancillary services are dispatched automatically according to the signals of the system:

  • the frequency deviation of the Continental Europe Synchronous Area from the reference frequency (50 Hz) for primary frequency control,
  • the load-frequency control level for secondary frequency control.

The characteristics and performance of the frequency control are described in the technical reference documentation (chapter 4.1).

Contracting with RTE

The provision of frequency ancillary services is open to all capacities previously certified in mainland France, regardless of the technology and the level of connection.

  • Contracting of frequency containment reserve is done through cross-border tenders on D-1 via the FCR Cooperation.
  • Contracting of automatic frequency restoration reserve is done through a national call for tenders on D-1.
  • Exchanges between reserve providers are possible at any price for the two types of reserve.

To become reserve provider, you are required to comply with the Frequency Ancillary Services Terms and Conditions, established in consultation with the market players and approved by the French Energy Regulatory Commission. For this, you must sign a participation agreement as a reserve provider.

To do this, you need to:

  1. fill in the  Frequency Ancillary Services Terms and Conditions questionnaire in Annex 14 designed to verify the suitability of the applicant,
  2. if you do not have EIC code, please make the request through the online form,
  3. fill in and send Annex 1 (participation agreement model) and Annex 3 (list of contacts) of the Frequency Ancillary Services Terms and Conditions,
  4. send the documents and information listed in annex 1,
  5. request access to the RTE telecontrol information exchange system,
  6. get your capacities certified in accordance with article 5 and annexes 15 and 16 of the Frequency ancillary services Terms and Conditions,
  7. declare the elements making up your reserve perimeter using annex 4 of the Frequency ancillary services Terms and Conditions.

Your services as a reserve provider

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

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

From the capacity call for tenders for the procurement of aFRR capacities to energy activation

Important note: The day-ahead call for tenders for the contracting of aFRR capacities was suspended on 24 November 2021 (delivery day) following the activation of the operation relay process which involves a return to the prescription contracting process with obligated parties in accordance with Article of the frequency ancillary services terms and conditions.

Participation in the call for tenders for capacity

RTE contracts automatic frequency restoration reserves (aFRR) through day-ahead calls for tender on D-1 at 9:00.

The bids submitted at the call for tenders must comply with the following conditions:

  • The minimum power that can be offered is 1 MW
  • The bid granularity is 1 MW
  • The contract interval is 1 hour with the possibility of placing bids at several time intervals
  • Bids are asymmetrical (upward or downward) with the possibility of making symmetrical bids
  • The total capacity offered must be less than or equal to the total certified automatic frequency restoration reserve capacity of the reserve provider
  • If an indivisible bid is submitted, the power volume offered must be less than a maximum threshold set at 20MW.

Reserve providers must submit bids on the call for tenders which at least match their constructive capacities truncated to the nearest MW.

Automatic frequency restoration reserve capacity bids are transmitted via the dedicated RACOON application.

The automatic frequency restoration reserve requirements for the 2nd quarter of 2022 are described as follows:

Open days

Non-working days

The automatic frequency restoration reserve (aFRR) requirement of RTE is calculated quarterly in accordance with the method described in the Load-Frequency Control Block operational agreement (LFC block). The calculation methodology provides for the application of a coefficient to take into account the overscheduling of market participants in the final dispatch schedule, following an RTE balancing operation for “P=C” reasons. This is 100%.

Current energy mobilisation procedures

A capacity selected at the national day-ahead call for tenders is under obligation to schedule aFRR at a minimum at the level selected in the call for tenders (modulo NERs procured/sold).

The scheduled capacity level must not exceed the certified level for the reserve providing group.

Energy is activated automatically via a national signal sent to all capacities scheduled at 5-second intervals. This signal is referred to as Level N of load-frequency control.

Energy is paid for at the spot price.

Future developments in energy mobilisation

The European Electricity Balancing Guideline specifically provides for European transmission system operators to put forward a strategy for implementing a common platform for exchange of aFRR.

The PICASSO project (Platform for the International Coordination of Automated Frequency Restoration and Stable System Operation) aims to implement this platform.

For the purpose of guiding and providing visibility to market participants, the PICASSO page presents the major updates and steps brought by this project.

Compensation related to a frequency ancillary services failure due to a balancing mechanism operation

A compensation relating to a frequency ancillary services failure due to a balancing mechanism operation is paid by the reserve providers to RTE. This compensation is revised Son 1 April of each year Y, for the current period from 1 April of the year Y to 31 March of the year Y+1.

It is calculated as follows:



  • ΣA-1 additional costs SSY is the sum of the ancillary services additional costs (EUR) of the year Y-1, determined in accordance with the MA-RE Terms and Conditions,

  • ΣA -1 SSY reconstituted volumes is the sum of the ancillary services reconstituted volumes for the year Y-1 (in hMW), determined in accordance with the MA-RE Terms and Conditions,

  • ΣY-1 aVU+ (1-a)VD is the sum for all Reserve Providers and for all Half-Hourly Intervals for the year Y-1, and for all Types of Reserve, of the volumes V (in hMW), where VU is the upward volume,

  • and VD is the downward volume,

  • a is the ratio of upward/downward compensation.

S computing for the year 2022

  • Sum of additional costs SSY for 2021 : 124 194 629,39€
  • Sum of SSY reconstituted volumes in 2021 : 1 386 894,15 hMW
  • 2021 balance : - 10 733 966,19€ (as a reminder, the 2020 balance was - 461 131€)
  • S2022 = 147,51 €/hMW

Regulated Capacity Price

The Regulated Capacity Price (PFC) is the regulated price of the reserve obligation remuneration, it is revised each year on the 1st of January.

The PFC2022 value is 10,248 €/MW (for one half-hour).

This fixed price concerns:

  • for the remuneration of FCR capacities in case of certain fallback configurations due to an issue on the FCR call for tenders.
  • the formula for calculating the amount of compensation related to a negative reserve balance (FCR or aFRR).
  • the formula for calculating the rebate amount in case of failures leading to a negative reserve balance (FCR or aFRR).
  • generation type reserve providing groups, in the formula for calculating penalties in case of failures leading to a negative reserve balance (FCR or aFRR).

Additional information

Reference documentation


For any questions, please contact