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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.

The MWs to be contracted through a call for tenders for the second half of 2021will 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?

On May 12, 2021, RTE launched a consultation to select the candidates with whom an interruptible load contract will be entered into for a period of six months from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021.

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:


We also remind you that you can apply until 3 June 2021 on Bravosolution (tender n° 20916).

The interruptible load programme is being discussed with the European Commission. Depending on the progress of these discussions, at the request of the French State, the Call for Tenders and / or the associated contracts may be resolved by Rte, without the possibility of compensation or recourse for the candidates and holders. The parties would then be released from their obligations.

In this case, RTE will notify all bidders by post, e-mail, or notice on the purchasing portal.

The principal elements of the call for tenders for the second half of 2021


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