Since 1 July 2007, all French consumers have been able to choose their electricity supplier. With the mechanism in place in France, all load extraction from and all injection into the transmission or distribution system must be allocated to a balance responsible party (BRP).
The BRP System is therefore one of the cornerstones of the opening up of the French electricity market. It enables all parties to operate on the electricity markets, while at the same time ensuring that the French power system remains balanced.
Currently, around 200 stakeholders are BRPs. Each one of them ensures a balance between injections (inputs) on the one hand and extractions (outputs) on the other across its perimeter. This perimeter can cover:
- extraction components: consumption sites across the Public Transmission System, consumption sites across the Public Distribution Systems, trades (block exchanges, exports, sales on markets, etc.), DSO power losses
- injection components: power generation sites, trades (block exchanges, imports, purchases on markets, etc.).
For each imbalance settlement period and for each BRP, RTE calculates the difference between injection and extraction: this is calculating the imbalances.
The imbalance settlement period is currently 30 minutes. According to the European Regulation 2017/2195 "Guideline on Electricity Balancing", imbalance settlement period must be reduced to 15 minutes by 1 January 2025 at the latest.
To calculate the balance responsible entity imbalances and invoice for them accurately, RTE needs metering data from the distribution system operators (DSOs): this is the allocation process.
The "imbalance process" and temporal reconciliation
The balance responsibility allocation process is currently made up of two separate processes that are carried out one after the other:
The “imbalance process” allows to estimate BRP imbalances using consumption, generation and grid losses data provided by the TSOs for each BRP before the index meters are read. It is used to invoice BRPs between M+1 and M+12 and is itself based on:
- the "profiling process" (carried out by the DSOs) which consists, when the periodicity of measurement of the index meter of a site connected to the PDS is insufficient, in estimating a load curve at the time interval required for the reconstitution of flows, based on the measured consumption of the site and assigning it a consumption profile.
- Spatial Alignment (carried out by RTE) which then consists of correcting the consumption load curves estimated by profiling, so that the sum of the load curves assigned to the BRPs at the national level is equal to the physical DSO extraction measured on all the DSO delivery point substations.
Temporal reconciliation is for correcting the distribution grid perimeters after the index meters have been read. It is used to invoice BRPs in Y+1 and Y+2.
The widespread use of smart meters by the DSOs will make it possible to use daily energy readings, opening the way to the implementation of a new, more precise and accelerated flow reconstruction. This will be based essentially on the following two principles
- Use the daily energy records for the allocation of energy to BRPs, including the BRP for losses,
- merging the “imbalance process” and Temporal reconciliation into a “single imbalance process", starting in October 2024. This process will allow the closure of BRPs invoicing in M+12.
Roles entrusted to the DSOs
The DSO is responsible for checking the quality of data that it produces and sends to RTE. To do this, it is tasked with the following responsibilities:
Data exchanged between the DSOs and RTE for the "imbalance process"
As part of the allocation process, the distribution system operators and RTE exchange reference data and dynamic data.
Data quality is a fundamental consideration: the DSO is responsible for checking the quality of data that it produces and sends to RTE.
Depending on your type of network and the sites connected up to it, you may be eligible for simplified provisions for sending your data to RTE.
Annual invoicing of temporal reconciliation (until the implementation of the "single imbalance process")
Once the index meters have been read, you must send RTE the data from profiled sites that have been "reconciled" according to the reading. This is the second step after the imbalances have been calculated: temporal reconciliation, which is invoiced to the BRPs annually.
You send RTE:
- the estimated reconciled consumption/generation load curves
- before the 15th day of month M+14 for the month M
- for each active BRP on your network
These load curves are calculated based on energies which use the indices which manage the period to be profiled. The procedures for producing these curves are detailed in chapter F of Section 2 of the balancing market terms and conditions.
Temporal reconciliation is invoiced in October of year Y+2 for the year-long period running from July Y to June Y+1.
The services provided by RTE to help you perform your tasks
To help you send the data needed for the allocation process, RTE provides you with a number of digital services.
Data that can be viewed, also available for download
Portals and MMI
APIs, for connecting your IT system to RTE's
- Implementation guide for data exchanges between DSOs and RTE for the balance responsible party system.
- Schedule 2023 & 2024 for sending Recoflux load curves (DSO to RTE).
- The client connected up to the network signs a "unique contract" with their supplier for a complete service covering the supply and transport of energy.
- Remotely-read clients can also choose to sign a distribution network access contract with the distribution system operator directly and a separate contract with their supplier.
- For supplier distribution system operator contracts, the supplier designates the BRP for the distribution system operator for clients to whom it supplies electricity and who are connected up to the distribution network.
- The distribution system operator enters into a contract with the supplier’s BRP based on the rules governing the BRE mechanism.
- Finally, the distribution system operator enters into a contract with RTE for the management of the BRE mechanism across its network, in order to formalise information exchanges (D1 appendix of the BRP rules).
For more information, contact your usual account manager or email email@example.com
For any technical problems in communicating data, RTE has a hotline that you can telephone on 0810 80 50 50 or you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org