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What is the interruptible load programme and what purpose does it serve?

The Public Transport Network Defense Plan includes "all curative, ultimate and automatic actions, intended to counter phenomena whose speed of appearance and development excludes any possibility of human intervention". These actions are of 5 types. The 5th type of action provides for the participation of defense service providers and active participation in demand (namely the interruptibility device) before the activation of automatic load shedding.

The interruptibility device therefore makes it possible to manage critical operating situations of the electrical system.

Under this programme, RTE can interrupt one or several industrial consumers in less than 5 seconds.

A total of 1131 MW will be contracted through a call for tenders from 1 January to 31 December 2022.

They are activatable according to the following criteria:

  • automated simultaneous activation of all sites, on a basis of supply-demand balance;
  • manual activation by dispatching, site-to-site, according to local needs.

The cumulated interruptible capacity must not exceed 1200 MW, and must be covered by sites with an interruptible load of 25 MW or more.

Who is eligible for this programme?

Any consumption site connected to the public transmission grid, with a contract power greater than 25 MW and with a process allowing for interruption of its consumption (falling below a power limit) in less than 5 seconds, is eligible for the interruptible load programme.

What is technical approval?

In addition to the interruptible load contract, a winner of the tender must also be given technical approval before the start of the contract. This approval is granted by RTE if the following technical conditions are fulfilled:

  • the site meets the technical characteristics required to implement the interruptible load service (power level, interruption delays, etc.).
  • the site has the equipment necessary to implement the interruptible load service (telecommunication links with RTE).
  • the site has successfully passed an actual interruption test.

Sites that meet the following cumulative conditions are automatically approved for the interruptibility system for the year 2022:

  • The candidate has an interruptibility contract for this site for the period from July 1 to December 31, 2021 under lot 1 and still in force on December 1, 2021;
  • any faulty activation of the interruptible capacity of this site during 2021 was followed by an activation test recognized as compliant by RTE;
  • the ceiling power proposed for this site by the candidate is greater than or equal to the ceiling power mentioned in the Interruptibility Contract valid for the period from July 1 to December 31, 2021.

The principal elements of the call for tenders 2022


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