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

The French Energy Code (article L. 321-19) provides that:

When the normal operation of the public transmission grid is seriously and immediately threatened or requires calling on available reserves, the public transmission system operator shall, on its own initiative, instantaneously interrupt the consumption of these sites.

Initially provided for under the NOME act, the interruptible load programme was thus created to manage critical situations in the exploitation of the power system.

Under this programme, RTE can interrupt one or several industrial consumers connected to the public transmission grid in less than 5 or 30 seconds.

1301 MWs are to be contracted through a call for tenders for the period going from January to June 2021 and will be 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.

Who is eligible for this programme?

Any consumption site connected in Metropolitan France, 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 or 30 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 times, 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.

Who can participate in an interruptible load call for tenders?

It is aimed at all consumption sites connected to the national transmission system and able to offer interruptible capacity in accordance with the provisions described in the orders.

The call for tenders is made up of 2 lots:


The principal elements of the call for tenders 2021


If you have any questions, you can contact your usual account manager.