Introduction to interconnections

France is interconnected with 6 European countries: Great Britain (HVDC Cross-Channel IFA), Belgium (IFB), Germany (IFD), Italy (IFI), Spain (IFE) and Switzerland (IFS). These interconnections:

  • compensate for sudden loss of load of generation or electricity transmission equipment by calling on generators, consumers and transmission operators of neighbouring countries,
  • enable electricity suppliers to sell energy to a customer located in another European Union country, by acquiring capacity at interconnections.

Energy import and export


The trade capacities of interconnections are calculated to take into account the physical capacities of transmission systems. They are allocated to market participants over long-term, day-ahead and intraday time intervals.

To exchange energy at interconnections, you must acquire capacity over a given period and direction. The allocation methods differ depending on the borders and time horizons:

  • Explicit: you acquire capacity (allocation) then declare your power exchange schedule to the relevant transmission system operators (cross-border nomination). The explicit auctions are performed by the Joint Allocation Office JAO. The intraday capacity allocation on France-Switzerland and Franco-Germany borders, is respectively performed on ICS and XBID CMM platforms.
  • Implicit: you automatically acquire capacity at the same time as your purchase/sale of energy on the active power exchanges on the French market (EPEX and in the near future, NordPool), through market coupling.

Legend: Methods for allocation at the French borders

For explicit auctions, if you have acquired capacity at an auction and that you do not wish to use it, you may :

  • transfer all or part of acquired capacity at a given auction to another participant,
  • resale all or part of acquired capacity at a given auction a capacity allocated at an auction at any subsequent auction,
  • benefit from the "use-it-or-sell-it" principle, that triggers the remuneration of the non-nominated volume of acquired capacity.

These provisions apply on all borders (details in the allocation rules of the border concerned).


Consult the 2019 calendar of long term auctions for France - Great Britain border (IFA)

Price


77€/month per transaction (processing fee per import or export transaction connected to a BRP perimeter, on a border and a time interval)

Contracting


To import and export energy at French interconnections, you must:

  • be a balance responsible party or connect your transactions to the perimeter of a balance responsible part,
  • have the necessary permissions in at least one Member State of the European Economic Area to trade in electrical energy,
  • Adhere to the Import-Export Rules to be able to nominate energy with RTE,
  • Adhere to the allocation rules of the border concerned:
    • Participation Agreement JAO,
    • IFD Rules (explicit intraday allocation France-Germany),
    • IFS Rules (explicit intraday allocation France-Switzerland),
    • IFA Rules and Participation Agreement (France-Great Britain auctions). In case of a no deal Brexit that would lead to an exit of Great Britain from single Day Ahead coupling, new IFA rules would enter into force as soon as the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

Conditions


To access the interconnections, you must have access to the RTE information system. To submit your nomination schedules to RTE on certain interconnections, you must have access to the MORGAN platform. MORGAN is an application that allows users to manage:

  • Long term nominations on all interconnections except France-England and France-Belgium,
  • Day-ahead nominations for France-Switzerland.

RTE can organize tests on the MORGAN application to train your new users.

Additional services


RTE offers a set of services for participants in cross-border interconnections on the RTE Service Portal, the RTE Data Portal and the RTE Customer Portal to easily monitor their activity and anticipate and plan for new developments on interconnections

You may also access:

  • regional information published in collaboration with the TSOs concerned on the IESOE and JAO websites,
  • the general data on the consumer behaviour in France published on rte-france.com (Eco2mix, electricity report, generation adequacy report etc.).