RTE activates interruptible load to balance the European electrical frequency.
On Friday, 8 January, at around 2:00 p.m., an incident occurred on the electricity grid in Eastern Europe, causing a sharp frequency drop. This drop in frequency led to the automatic activation of interruptible load, i.e. interruption of the consumption of the 16 French industrial sites under contract with RTE. This event is in no way related to the situation this morning in France and to the red alert issued on the EcoWatt system. France’s electricity supply currently does not require any specific attention.
A variation in the electrical frequency on the European grid required the activation of interruptible load of the 16 French industrial sites under contract with RTE.
This means that RTE immediately halted the power supply of these 16 major electricity consumer sites, by agreement and under contract for this system. This reduced the country’s electricity consumption by about 1 300 MW. In addition, the Italian Transmission System Operator, Terna, also activated its interruptible load programme, reducing Italy’s electricity consumption by about 1 000 MW. These coordinated actions helped rebalance Europe’s electricity frequency. The situation returned to normal shortly before 4pm.
This incident and the activation of these mechanisms are completely unrelated to the call to reduce electricity consumption launched last night by RTE. France’s electricity supply currently does not require any specific attention.
Interruptible load is one of the existing levers for regulating frequency within seconds. The system is automatically triggered and the best way to handle situations such as these. The action of RTE and the industrial sites involved helped to ensure the security of the European transmission grid and to prevent any risk of outages in France and Europe.
ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators, and European TSOs are looking into the specific causes of this incident.
January 11, 2021