Updates: last update's detail

RTE continues its consultation on the French balancing market via its Web site

Source: RTE 15/02/2001

The balancing market provides information to participate, test the operation of the market and receive advice and questions.

The Act of 10 February 2000, organising the opening of the electricity market in France, entrusts the Transmission System Operator with the task of ensuring the safety of the French power system.

RTE thus has the operational responsibility for the management of electricity balancing mechanisms and pursues three additional objectives within this framework:

1. Balance total generation and the total amount of consumption and forecast international transactions (while taking into account electricity losses arising on the power systems),

2. Deal with constraints resulting from the technical limits of the system (congestion, in particular),

3. If necessary, set up operating margins, i.e. available capacity, so as to cope with any contingencies arising throughout the day.

These adjustments essential for power system safety must be carried out in a transparent and equitable way. The planned balancing market, similar to those set up in many European countries, is perfectly in keeping with this objective: it initiates discrimination-free competition between potential bidders (producers, interruptible customers, suppliers, etc.) for optimum utilisation by RTE at the service of all the users of the transmission system.

The Electricity Regulation Commission sees that the rules laid down for smooth and safe power system operation are duly observed.

The players (producers, consumers, etc.) will thus be able to submit "bids" to the French Transmission System Operator, together with technical conditions and a price, from among which RTE will make a choice based on merit order. The least expensive proposals, excluding system constraints, will therefore be selected.

The bids will be differentiated between incremental and decremental offers according to their effect on the generation - consumption balance. They may have several sources:

* the start-up, shutdown, power escalation or reduction of hydro, conventional thermal or nuclear power plants in France,

* the operation of pumped storage power plants,

* equivalent transactions proposed by foreign suppliers,

* activity variations resulting in consumption increases or drops.

The operators of neighbouring systems will be involved in a first stage by the bids made starting from their networks, other modes of co-operation being envisaged in the longer term.

RTE is now making all the information necessary for market players on its Web site to:
* favour awareness of the rules considered for this market and to be able to study the resulting reactions and proposals,
* allow a player, through simulation, to get acquainted with how the market works and to study its consequences on his own activity,
* contact RTE for any other questions that may have to be asked or for additional information required.

If you wish to get in touch with us to obtain further details, please contact Pierre Flahaut, Head of RTE's Balancing Market Bureau at 01 49 97 14 66.