France is interconnected with 6 European countries
France is interconnected with:
- Great Britain (HVDC Cross-Channel IFA & IFA2),
- Belgium (IFB),
- Germany (IFD),
- Italy (IFI),
- Spain (IFE)
- and Switzerland (IFS).
- 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 importing and exporting
Calculation of trade capacities
The trade capacities of interconnections are calculated to take into account the physical capacities of transmission systems. Capacity calculation methodologies of each region are avalaible on ENTSO-E website.They are calculated at least at annual, monthly, day-ahead and intraday timeframes and according to methodologies developed by Capacity Calculation Region (CCR): NTC or flow-based approach.
Acquiring interconnexion capacity
The trade capacities 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 time period and border direction. The allocation methods differ depending on the borders and time horizons:
- Implicit allocation: 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 NordPool), through market coupling.
- Explicit allocation: you acquire capacity via auctions 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 continuous explicit intraday capacity allocation on the France-Switzerland and France-Germany borders is carried out on the ICS and XBID CMM platforms respectively.
For explicit auctions, if you have acquired capacity at an auction and that you do not wish to use it, you may (on all borders. See detailed information in the relevant allocation rules):
- 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 2020 calendar of long term auctions for IFA 2000.
- Consult the 2020 calendar of weekend auctions for IFA2000.
- Consult the 2020 calendar of long term auctions for IFA2.
Summary table of allocation methods according to borders and time periods
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 and IFA2 rules (France-Great Britain auctions). The no deal exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, starting the 1st January 2021, brings about the end of single day ahead market coupling and new IFA and IFA2 rules come into force.
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 OCAPPI application.
- RTE IS access form,
- RTE IS Rules,
- OCAPPI’s Implementation guide and sample files,
- For any question, access request and/or training session request you can directly contact the team in charge by mail : email@example.com
OCAPPI is an application that allows users to manage nominations (Long-term and Day-Ahead) of capacity acquired through explicit auctions on all interconnections except the France - Great Britain interconnector (for which nomintations are managed by the RNP platform). RTE can organize tests on the OCAPPI application to train your new users.
RTE offers a set of services for participants in cross-border interconnections on the RTE Services Portal and the Portail RTE Data Portal to easily monitor their activity and anticipate and plan for new developments on interconnections.
Access the following published data on the Customer Services Portal:
Access the following data via the Data Portal APIs:
Data about explicit annual and monthly auctions (auction date, period in question and capacity offered in MW), auction specifications on an intraday timescale, together with capacities offered at implicit auctions for the daily market (D-1) and capacities offered on an intraday timescale (ID).
Data about the measures put in place by RTE in the event of physical congestion on the network. This includes data generated by changes to the generation and/or load plan which impact the physical flows across the transport network (redispatching) and data to do with cross-border schedules between two TSOs in the direction opposite to the constraining flow (countertrading), as well as the costs borne by RTE in implementing measures to tackle congestion.
Data about physical cross-border schedules detailing electricity flows actually transiting across the interconnection lines directly linking countries. The physical flows are published every hour and give a net value at each border.
NTC forecast data in MW for various terms (annual, monthly, weekly, intraday and shorter periods of time if needed). The forecasts become more refined as the day on which the electricity is scheduled to be delivered approaches.
An NTC is the maximum commercial exchange programme that there can be between two countries, factoring in operational security rules and various technical uncertainties to do with the network's future conditions.
Long-term exchange schedules from annual and monthly, daily (D-1) and intra-daily (ID) allocations :
- Exchange schedules representing commercial transits in MW that are the result of each cross-border capacity allocation (long term i.e. annually and monthly, D-1, intraday and real time),
- Authorisations to schedule capacities acquired in the long-term (annual and monthly auctions) before the opening of the intraday market (D-1).
You can also access regional information, published in collaboration with the relevant TSOs, for:
- The South-Western Europe region, with Spain, Portugal and Morocco: publication of capacities in real-time and their use on the interconnections concerned via the IESOE.
- The Central West Europe region, the North Italian Border (NIB) region, the border with Switzerland, the border with England and part of Scandinavia via the JAO websites.
In addition, the ENTSO-E Transparency Platform provides free, continuous access to pan-European electricity market data for all users, across six main categories: Load, Generation, Transmission, Balancing, Outages and Congestion Management.
You may also access the general data on the consumer behaviour in France published on rte-france.com (Eco2mix, electricity report, generation adequacy report etc.)
RTE also provides you with Static Grid Model.
Online training to understand flow-based market coupling is available in French, English and German on the EPEXSPOT platform.
77€/month per transaction (processing fee per import or export transaction connected to a BRP perimeter, on a border and a time interval).
- Capacity calculation, Counterdrading and Redispatching and Regional Operational Security Coordination methodologies of each region are avalaible on ENSTO-E website
- Rules for Daily Capacity Allocation on Swiss Borders