RTE is responsible for the operating safety of the power system. As the European national power networks are interconnected, this responsibility is exercised in relation with its European counterparts. The operating safety of the system is mainly based on the capacity of immediately compensating for any outage arising on a generation or transmission facility.
In view of the geographical situation within the European network, RTE is called upon to a considerable extent by the players of the market to set up exports or imports between France and the interconnected neighbouring countries. Demand has increased and this has resulted in the growth of cross-border exchanges while, at the same time, the environmental regulations make it more difficult to build new transmission facilities.
This situation tends to create congestion phenomena, sometimes leading RTE to limit electricity transfers on some interconnections, whereas the play of the market may result in exchange volumes that are higher than the transmission capacity available. To cope with these difficult situations, RTE can either limit the access to the network or adapt the generation programmes so as to provide additional capacity whenever possible. In this case, the customers who have access to the network may bear an extra congestion price which serve to compensate for the costs of these adaptation of schedules.
Considering the fact that the physical characteristics of the network limit the interconnection capacity, RTE has set up conditions for the allocation of this capacity to meet the requests in a transparent and non-discriminatory way. These conditions and updates are described in the part To contract Interconnection access > Introduction to Interconnections.
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