To be remunerated for your flexibilities, you may participate in the frequency ancillary services by becoming a reserve provider.
Frequency Ancillary services
The operation of the power system requires that generation must be equal to consumption at all times.
RTE ensures this balance in real time, factoring in consumption and generation variability (weather, power generation availability, etc.). To maintain the balance between supply and demand, RTE requires dispatchable power reserves, both upward and downward, from capacities based in France or the rest of Europe.
There are three types of reserves which can be successively applied:
Frequency ancillary services are dispatched automatically according to the signals of the system:
- the frequency deviation of the Continental Europe Synchronous Area from the reference frequency (50 Hz) for primary frequency control,
- the load-frequency control level for secondary frequency control.
The characteristics and performance of the frequency control are described in the technical reference documentation (chapter 4.1).
Contracting with RTE
The provision of frequency ancillary services is open to all capacities previously certified in mainland France, regardless of the technology and the level of connection.
- Contracting of frequency containment reserve capacity is done through cross-border tenders on D-1 via the FCR Cooperation.
- Automatic frequency restoration reserve capacity is contracted through the prescription contracting process with obligated parties on D-1.
- Exchanges between reserve providers are possible at any price for the two types of reserve. These exchanges take place with RTE through NERs (Reserve Exchange Notifications).
To become reserve provider, you are required to comply with the Frequency Ancillary Services Terms and Conditions, established in consultation with the market players and approved by the French Energy Regulatory Commission. For this, you must sign a participation agreement as a reserve provider.
To do this, you need to:
- fill in the Frequency Ancillary Services Terms and Conditions questionnaire in Annex 14 designed to verify the suitability of the applicant,
- if you do not have EIC code, please make the request through the online form,
- fill in and send Annex 1 (participation agreement model) and Annex 3 (list of contacts) of the Frequency Ancillary Services Terms and Conditions,
- send the documents and information listed in annex 1,
- request access to the RTE telecontrol information exchange system,
- get your capacities certified in accordance with article 5 and annexes 15 and 16 of the Frequency ancillary services Terms and Conditions,
- declare the elements making up your reserve perimeter using annex 4 of the Frequency ancillary services Terms and Conditions.
Your services as a reserve provider
RTE offers a set of services for each reserve provider to carry out and optimise their activity, including:
- publication of public and private data on the Customer Services Portal (HMI and downloads) and on the Transparency platform of ENTSOE,
- provision of data via APIs on the data portal,
- access to the market services and applications to send scheduling files of frequency ancillary services.
From the prescription contracting process of automatic frequency restoration reserve capacity with obligated parties to the activation of energy
Capacity prescription contracting through obligated parties
Automatic frequency restoration reserve capacity is contracted through the prescription contracting process with obligated parties on D-1.
Capacities are paid at the flat price of capacity (this price is fixed annually and specified in the heading below "Regulated Capacity Price").
As set out in the Frequency Ancillary Services Terms and Conditions, it is planned that RTE will later contract automatic frequency restoration reserve capacities through day-ahead calls for tender on D-1.This deadline is materialised by the date H’ in the Frequency Ancillary Services Terms and Conditions. Market participants will be informed in advance by RTE of this call for tender.
The automatic frequency restoration reserve requirements for the 1st quarter of 2023 are described as follows:
The automatic frequency restoration reserve requirements for the 2nd quarter of 2023 are described as follows:
The automatic frequency restoration reserve (aFRR) requirement of RTE is calculated quarterly in accordance with the method described in the Load-Frequency Control Block operational agreement (LFC block). The calculation methodology provides for the application of a coefficient to take into account the overscheduling of market participants in the final dispatch schedule, following an RTE balancing operation for “P=C” reasons. This is 100%.
Current energy mobilisation procedures
An obligated party is under obligation to schedule, at a minimum, the aFRR capacity prescribed to him on D-1 through one or more RPGs (modulo NERs procured/sold).
The scheduled capacity level must not exceed the certified level for the reserve providing group.
Energy is activated automatically via a national signal sent to all reserve providing groups (RPGs) scheduled at 5-second intervals. This signal is referred to as Level N of load-frequency control.
Energy is paid for at the spot price.
Future developments in energy mobilisation
The European Electricity Balancing Guideline specifically provides for European transmission system operators to put forward a strategy for implementing a common platform for exchange of aFRR.
The PICASSO project (Platform for the International Coordination of Automated Frequency Restoration and Stable System Operation) aims to implement this platform.
For the purpose of guiding and providing visibility to market participants, the PICASSO page presents the major updates and steps brought by this project.
Compensation related to a frequency ancillary services failure due to a balancing mechanism operation
A compensation relating to a frequency ancillary services failure due to a balancing mechanism operation is paid by the reserve providers to RTE. This compensation is revised SA on 1 April of each year Y, for the current period from 1 April of the year Y to 31 March of the year Y+1.
It is calculated as follows:
ΣA-1 additional costs SSY is the sum of the ancillary services additional costs (EUR) of the year Y-1, determined in accordance with the MA-RE Terms and Conditions,
ΣA -1 SSY reconstituted volumes is the sum of the ancillary services reconstituted volumes for the year Y-1 (in hMW), determined in accordance with the MA-RE Terms and Conditions,
ΣY-1 aVU+ (1-a)VD is the sum for all Reserve Providers and for all Half-Hourly Intervals for the year Y-1, and for all Types of Reserve, of the volumes V (in hMW), where VU is the upward volume,
and VD is the downward volume,
a is the ratio of upward/downward compensation.
S computing for the year 2022
- Sum of additional costs SSY for 2021 : 124 194 629,39€
- Sum of SSY reconstituted volumes in 2021 : 1 386 894,15 hMW
- 2021 balance : - 10 733 966,19€ (as a reminder, the 2020 balance was - 461 131€)
- S2022 = 147,51 €/hMW
Regulated Capacity Price
The Regulated Capacity Price (PFC) is the regulated price of the reserve obligation remuneration, it is revised each year on the 1st of January.
The PFC2023 value is 11,025 €/MW (for one half-hour).
This fixed price concerns:
- for the remuneration of aFRR capacities.
- for the remuneration of FCR capacities in case of certain fallback configurations due to an issue on the FCR call for tenders.
- the formula for calculating the amount of compensation related to a negative reserve balance (FCR or aFRR).
- the formula for calculating the rebate amount in case of failures leading to a negative reserve balance (FCR or aFRR).
- reserve providing groups, in the formula for calculating penalties in case of failures leading to a negative reserve balance (FCR or aFRR).
- List of reserve providers
- Schedule your active powers
- Participate in the balancing mechanism
- Guideline on electricity balancing
- GIPSE documentation for declaring reserve perimeters
- RACOON documentation the aFRR call for tenders for automatic frequency restoration reserve
For any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org