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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 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 a group of sites with an interruptible capacity greater than 10 MW.
Each year, RTE launches a call for tenders to select the candidates with whom it will conclude an interruptibility contract.

Who is eligible for this programme?

Any aggregation of consumption sites connected to the public transmission or distribution grid, with a contract power greater than 10 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 2023:

  • The candidate has an interruptibility contract for this site for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2022 and still in force on December 1, 2022;
  • any faulty activation of the interruptible capacity of this site during 2022 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 January 1 to December 31, 2022.

Who can participate in an interruptible load call for tenders?

Each year, RTE launches a call for tenders to select the candidates with whom it will conclude an interruptibility contract.

From November 8th to December 1st, RTE launched a consultation to select the candidates with whom an interruptibility contract will be signed for a one-year period from 1 January 1st 2024 to December 31st 2024. A total of 6 sites representing 756 MW has been contracted through this 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 principal elements of the call for tenders 2024



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