What are manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves and what purpose do they serve?
The French Energy Code provides that:
“The national transmission system operator monitors availability and implementation of the reserves required for operating the grid. […] »
The monitoring mission of reserves entrusted to RTE principally involves building available reserves within short time-frames to counteract incidents occurring in real time.
For building these reserves, RTE must meet the requirements of Policy 1 of ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators), which provides that:
- after an incident, the transmission system operator must be able to restore the power exchanges of its control area within 15 minutes at the latest (frequency containment reserves and automatic frequency restoration reserves),
- that the sizing of reserves available in less than 15 minutes is done based on the assumption and expectation of the largest possible generation incident. In the case of RTE, this is the loss of the biggest generation unit that can be connected to the grid, i.e: 1500 MW (frequency containment reserves, automatic frequency restoration reserves and manual frequency restoration reserve).
In addition, RTE builds short-term reserves to restore the automatic frequency restoration reserve in less than 30 minutes (replacement reserve).
RTE also builds the following reserves:
- Manual Frequency Restoration Reserve (mFRR) is composed of 1000 MW which can be activated in less than 15 minutes and up to 2 hours per activation. RTE may activate manual frequency restoration reserve a maximum of 4 times in a one-day period and without exceeding 4 hours of cumulated duration per day.
- Replacement Reserve (RR) is composed of 500 MW which can be activated in less than 30 minutes and up to 1.5 hours per activation. RTE may activate replacement reserve a maximum of 4 times in a one-day period and without exceeding 3 hours of cumulated duration per day.
These must be able to cover two daily occurrences of an incident equivalent to the largest possible generation incident.
RTE contracts manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves by means of an annual call for tenders and a daily call for tenders
RTE will contract manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves via an annual call for tenders and day-ahead calls for tender. The contract conditions and provision of the retained capacities are subject to consultation with the market players and then validated by the CRE within the mFRR-RR terms and conditions.
Parties awarded a mFRR-RR call for tenders must make their capacities available on the balancing mechanism. This is why all tenderers must first be signatory to a participation agreement in manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves and a participation agreement as a balance responsible party before the deadline for submission of tenders in response to the annual call for tenders. This condition must also be fulfilled before any participation in the daily call for tenders. All of the contract and technical information is available here: Becoming a balancing service provider.
If you are a customer connected to the grid, you are required to either become a balancing service provider, or to enlist the services of an aggregator to participate in the mechanism. Please find in the following link the list of participants with balancing entities approved for manual frequency restoration reserve and replacement reserve.
To participate in manual frequency restoration and replacement reserve tenders, you must:
- be able to participate in the balancing mechanism as a balancing service provider (see Becoming a balancing service provider)
- fill in annex 1 of the mFRR-RR terms and conditions to request participation in the manual frequency restoration and replacement reserve tenders terms and conditions and send it to email@example.com
- send the documents and information listed in the mFRR-RR terms and conditions
- respond to the consultation via the e-commerce portal to participate in the annual call for tenders
- submit your tenders via the RACOON platform to participate in the day-ahead call for tenders
If you are a successful tenderer (annual and/or daily), declare before the beginning of the commitments, the elements constituting your certified capacities perimeter for manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves according to modalities of terms and conditions.
How to apply for the demand response call for tenders for 2024
From 12 July to 15 September 2023, RTE opened the consultation for contracting 750 MW of manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves for the year 2024 (News "Launch of the 2024 annual call for tenders").
The consultation file includes the following elements:
- Manual frequency restoration and replacement reserve terms and conditions
- Tender regulation of the annual call for tenders
- Annexes for the set-up of an observability system
Results of annual calls for tender
RTE awarded the results of annual call for tenders 2024 on the 23 October 2023.
In addition, RTE is providing the following for participants:
- a non-binding reference document describing how the mFRR RR tenders are selected.
- data on the 2021 activations of the Balancing Entities engaged in manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves.
- the results of the call for tenders 2021 and the data concerning the tenders submitted.
- the results of the call for tenders 2022 and the data concerning the tenders submitted.
- the results of the call for tenders 2023 and the data concerning the tenders submitted.
- the results of the call for tenders 2024 and the data concerning the tenders submitted.
Information system and observability system
In addition to the access to the information system required for balancing service providers (presented on the web page Becoming a balancing service provider), any holder of a mFRR-RR contract must apply IT rules relating to RACOON platform, the implementation guide relating to reserves exchange and implement an observability system as described in Annex 6 of the mFRR-RR terms and conditions (observability specifications).
For any queries, please email your usual sales representative or firstname.lastname@example.org (RTE Sales Division).