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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).

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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 for 2 hours.
  •  Replacement Reserve (RR) is composed of 500 MW which can be activated in less than 30 minutes and for 1.5 hours.

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

From 1 January 2021, RTE will contract manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves via an annual call for tenders and daily calls for tender. Their terms are subject to a consultation with market players, then validated by the CRE. Their terms for contractualisation and provision of retained capacities are subject to a consultation with market players, 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:

  1. be able to participate in the balancing mechanism as a balancing service provider (see Becoming a balancing service provider)
  2. 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 marketservices@rte-france.com
  3. send the documents and information listed in the mFRR-RR terms and conditions
  4. respond to the consultation via the e-commerce portal
  5. If you are the winner of the call for tenders, you will need to declare, before the start of the commitments, the elements making up your perimeter of certified capacities for manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves in accordance with the arrangements laid down in the terms and conditions

How to apply for the demand response call for tenders for 2021

From 26 June to 27 July 2020, RTE is opening the consultation for contracting manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves for the year 2021. Please find the release presenting the terms for participation and the timeline of the 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.

RTE awarded the results of annual call for tenders 2021 on the 4th of August 2021 (link to the dedicated release).

In addition, RTE is providing the following for participants:

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).

Additional contracting of reserves for 2020

For the year 2020, in the event of default of one or several holders of the mFRR-RR contract in the course of the year, RTE may launch an additional call for tenders to restore the required level of reserves. Parties wishing to participate in this additional contracting of reserves may consult the tender regulation.

To participate, the tenderer must have a valid contract for provision of mFRR-RR and have certified generation capacity.

Additional calls for tenders will be announced on the e-commerce portal for parties which meet the aforementioned conditions.

Additional contracting of reserves for 2021

From the date of implementation of the daily call for tenders (at the earliest 1 January 2021), it will no longer be necessary to organise additional contracting: defaulting volumes will be re-contracted directly through the daily call for tenders with the 500 MW to be contracted to cover the entire RTE need.

However, until the implementation of the daily call for tenders, if it were to take place after 1 January 2021, the residual 500 MW and any defaulting volumes of holders may be contractualised through an additional call for tenders. Participants with queries regarding the procedure for this additional contracting of reserves may refer to the tender regulation.

To participate, the tenderer must have a valid mFRR-RR participation agreement and have sufficient certified generation capacity.

If necessary, additional bids will be announced on the e-commerce portal for parties which meet the aforementioned conditions.

Contacts

For any queries, please email your usual sales representative or marketservices@rte-france.com (RTE Sales Division).

Additional info: