TERRE project

RTE ensures the balance of electricity flows over the transmission grid and oversees the revision of the French power system balancing methods, to incorporate the changes brought about by the Guideline on Electricity Balancing (GLEB) in March 2017.

This guideline provides, in particular, that European transmission system operators put forward a strategy for implementing a common platform for exchange of balancing energy with an activation time not exceeding 30 minutes, also called CMOL of RR (Common Merit Order List of Replacement Reserve). The TERRE project (Trans European Replacement Reserve Exchange) was launched by 6 European TSOs (National Grid, REE, REN, RTE, Swissgrid and TERNA) with the aim to implement this platform.

The developments brought about by the TERRE project

A significant part of the changes to the MA-RE rules (relative to the Balancing Mechanism and Balance Responsible Entities) related to the TERRE project is scheduled for the set of rules to come into effect mid-2019 and will concern:

  • scheduling conditions
  • prequalification of balancing capacities
  • conditions for the submission of standard balancing energy bids
  • conditions for selection of balancing energy bids
  • conditions for the submission of standard orders
  • conditions for payment of balancing energy bids
  • financial flows in RTE’s balancing-imbalances account
  • publications and transparency

In this context, consultation meetings and working groups on these developments are regularly organized with stakeholders (regulator, market players). The presentation media is available on the website Concerte.fr (MA-RE working group). The creation of an account will be necessary to access the documents.

You will find in the summary table below the main changes related to the implementation of the TERRE project, including a development in the information systems used for the balancing and scheduling (TOPASE, GIPSE and TAO applications).

A testing period will take place over several months in 2019.

Theme Today From the entry into force of the new MA-RE rules
SCHEDULING (only for generators)
Changes to the intervals of call schedules Call schedules at 30' intervals Call schedules at 5' 15' or 30' intervals
Content of the call schedule Set of three generation logs (or set of five for capacities with asymmetrical scheduling) Set of five
BALANCING ENERGY BIDS (set up and submission)
Prequalification of balancing capacities No prequalification Prequalification required to participate in TERRE. It aims to verify that a balancing capacity has the ability required to be offered on the CMOL of RR.
Preparation of standard bids and maintaining submission of specific bids The Balancing Service Provider only sends specific bids. A capacity offered in the standard format on the TERRE CMOL must also be sent to RTE in a specific format, for potential activation for reliability purposes (network, margin or FCR/aFRR). It must cover at a minimum the same time intervals as for the TERRE CMOL.
Submission of bids Submission of specific bids via the SYGA application. Submission of specific bids via the SYGA application.
Submission of standard bids via the TOPASE application (initially)
Screening of bids not applicable RTE may reserve the right not to share certain bids on the TERRE CMOL for one of the following reasons: network congestion, reconstitution of margins and FCR/aFRR.
Simultaneous activation not applicable RTE will limit situations of simultaneous activations of TERRE standardoffers and explicit specific offers.
RTE shall be responsible in cases of simultaneous activations which would make a standard offer unfeasible.
Transmission of orders Using the TAO tool. Activation of standard offers will be done by TAO via a new web service.
Standard orders will have different characteristics (fields).
Transmission of the running schedule Set up and tracked by RTE Set up by the Balancing Service Provider and transmitted to RTE via TAO within 2 minutes following an accepted balancing order
Settlement of bids Remuneration of specific bids at the bid price.

For generation: settlement of balancing energy based on the requested volume.
In case of a defect, settlement of balancing energy based on the metered volume + penalties on the defaulting volume.

For consumption: settlement of balancing energy based on the metered volume
In case of a defect: penalties on the defaulting volume.

Remuneration of standard bids at the marginal price and specific bids at the bid price.

Settlement of an activated bid:
1/ settlement of the requested balancing energy at the marginal price (standard) or at the bid price (specific)
2/ calculation of the difference between the requested and the metered volume => settled at balancing energy deviation price, valued at balancing energy deviation price (equal to the volume-weighted average price or VWAP)
3/ calculation of the difference between the metered volume and the schedule => penalties applied if this difference is higher than the predefined threshold
Publications required by the EB guideline not applicable In accordance to EBGL article 12 and published in particular on the European platform ENTSO-E Transparency. In addition, the need expressed to the platform (and its associated maximum price if any) will be published.

Summary diagram

Timetable for implementation

Warning : Due to the current health crisis linked to COVID-19, the following timetable is being revised with a shift of initial planned dates.

Technical documentation for the TOPASE application (transmission of call schedules and RR standard products)

The TOPASE application (Transmission of Bids and Schedules) will allow balancing service providers (BSPs) and scheduling operators to send the following to RTE:

  • balancing energy bids (specific and standard)
  • technical constraints
  • call schedules.

Initially, this application will only allow to send replacement reserve standard balancing energy bids and forecast dispatched schedules. The technical constraints and the specific balancing energy bids will be delivered as currently done by the SYGA application.

Warning: TOPASE will be launched on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. From this date, the forecast dispatched schedules must be declared on TOPASE, instead of SYGA and e-PAT.

You can find below the documents to use the TOPASE application:

For any question regarding the TOPASE tests, you can contact us by email at RTE-refonteMA-TOP@rte-france.com.

Technical documentation for the TAO application (automated transmission of activation orders and running schedules)

The TAO application (automated transmission of balancing orders) currently provides the means to send balancing orders to BSPs and to incorporate their response.
New features will be added within the framework of the TERRE project:

  • Automated transmission of standard orders
  • Integration of responses to standard orders
  • Receipt of running schedules by BSPs after acceptance of specific or standard orders.
TAO is also made available to distribution system operators for viewing orders.

Implementation and user guides for TAO are provided in the aim of setting up the TERRE platform.

These two documents are integral parts of the IS rules.

The implementation guide describes the process of transmitting balancing orders associated with the TAO system and presents the technical modalities to implement to use the TAO application.

The user guide specifies the operational aspects relating to the implementation of the TAO system.

For any question regarding this documentation or tests, you can contact us by email at RTE-REFONTEMA-TAO@rte-france.com.

Technical documentation for the GIPSE application (management portal for the balancing mechanism reference data)

The GIPSE application (Gestion Informatisée des Périmètres et des Supports pour le système Electrique - electronic management of balancing perimeters and bids for the electricity system) is the entry point for declaring reference data relating to bids submitted on the TERRE platform by scheduling agents and balancing service providers:

  • Declaration of the resolution of the call schedule: 30' (as currently), 15' or 5'
  • Declaration of BEs and, where applicable, the Scheduling Entities for which a running schedule will be transmitted to RTE
  • Declaration of BEs participating in the TERRE platform

The corresponding data flows are described in §6.7, 6.8 and 7.1 of the technical documentation below:

Technical documentation for the BOB application (Back Office Balancing)

The BOB application (Back Office Balancing) will ensure the publication for BSPs of data for operation and settlement of energy balancing for all specific and standard offers.

The API will be available on the RTE data portal as a test version in the second half of 2019.

A HMI on the RTE services portal will open at the launch of the TERRE platform.

The application was presented during the MA-RE technical workshop of March 14, 2019 (access to this document on the Concerte.fr website requires the creation of an account).

For any request regarding the BOB application, please contact us by email at rte-refontema-bob@rte-france.com


For any queries, please email us at marketservices@rte-france.com

Presentations made in working groups / technical workshops within CURTE

The evolutions in the balancing process due to the TERRE project have been presented during the concertation about the MA-RE Rules evolution. The presentations shown during these working groups and workshops are available on Concerte.

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