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What are high voltage stresses?

Voltage ranges must be respected for all electrical power equipment to avoid damage or premature wear. Normal voltage ranges are therefore defined and contracted between RTE and its customers.

For several years, overvoltage events, also known as high voltage stresses, have been a focus of attention for the operation of the electric power system. There are multiple cause factors cumulating in a structural way: increased generation directly connected to distribution systems, increased use of underground cables, changes in final energy consumption with new household appliances, etc.

These overvoltages occur spring to autumn and are most often observed during off-peak night and afternoon hours when electricity consumption is lowest.

They can cause premature wear or potential equipment degradation with consequences on electricity quality. Their impacts are detailed in the RTE reliability report.


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Levers for managing overvoltage

To address these issues, RTE has committed significant investments through the installation of equipment (coils) in substations to reduce grid voltage.

In addition, a revaluation of the financial incentives of market players contributing to high voltage constraints has been incorporated into the TURPE.

On a daily basis, RTE also coordinates with all of the power system players to implement the necessary measures, such as:

  • Actions on the transmission systems to reduce voltage: Use of inductors and disconnection of network elements.
  • Requirements of generators connected to the transmission system: Use of voltage ancillary services provided by generation units connected to the grid and use of groups with  synchronous compensators
  • Requirements of industrial customers & distributors: In addition to the tariff model, request to open installed capacitors
  • Requirements in consultation with distribution system operators of connected power producers: implementation of the levers available by the power producers connected to the distribution systems. A consultation is underway to define the terms and conditions for the contribution of HV-A-connected generators to the management of high voltage on the public transmission system.

TURPE 6 and reactive energy: A support service for our customers

With the entry into force of TURPE 6 on 1 August 2021, the reactive power overrun billing rule has changed. A new high voltage tariffication (reactive generation, active consumption or generation) has been introduced, covering the period from April to October. This new billing is separate from the tariff period for low voltage exceedances (active and reactive consumption), which remains in effect for the period from November to March. The billing interval is now hourly. The invoice does not change for the HV-A tariff.

To guide its customers, RTE provides the Be notified when you exceed your reactive power consumption service. Customers subscribed to this service will be alerted by email of potential reactive energy overruns from the start of the current month, depending on the calculated current period, for one connection point.

Reference documentation


For any questions, please contact your usual account manager.

Additional information

Discover the service Be notified when you exceed your reactive power consumption.