ACER consultations on balancing market


A core component of the European Energy Union is the integration of the national balancing markets into a pan-European market. To promote this essential objective, the European Commission Regulation establishing a Guideline for Electricity Balancing became effective in December 2017. The European transmission system operator (TSOs) are expected to work proactively towards this goal and have since responded to this expectation with transnational cooperation, proposals, innovative concepts and their implementation.

The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) launched two public consultations on methodologies in line with the respective EU regulation. The first consultation concerns the way for establishing a list of standard products for capacity balancing of frequency restoration reserves and replacement reserves. This methodology provides the rules for efficient cross-border exchange, sharing and procurement of reserves. The second deals with the methodology for establishing a co-optimised allocation process of cross-zonal capacity for the exchange of balancing capacity or sharing of reserves. All interested parties are invited to submit their comments by 10 March 2020.

Before the results of the two consultations are published, ACER will organise a workshop in its premises in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana on 26 February. This workshop will give stakeholders an insight into the procedures related to these consultations and into the discussions between ACER, the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) and the TSOs.

ACER has launched two public consultations on methodologies for the integration of balancing markets (picture of Europe from space by Alexander Gerst, ESA/NASA)

> See ACER press release (html)
> Direct access to 1st consultation (html)
> Direct access to 2nd consultation (html)
> Visit ACER workshop webpage (html)

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Addendum to EXPLORE report


The European Project for Long term Real-time balancing Electricity market design (EXPLORE) is a joint venture by five TSC members: APG, the Austrian transmission system operator (TSO), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW. In cooperation with the Belgian TSO Elia, the partners have been evaluating since 2015 possibilities of integrating their respective markets for frequency restoration reserves (FRR) in view of the future requirements of the Guideline on Electricity Balancing by the European Commission.

In October 2016, the TSOs published a report on a target model for the exchange of FRR and asked stakeholders for feedback. Their comments and suggestions, as well as the TSO responses and further investigations, have now been incorporated into an addendum to the target model report.

Since two new FRR projects have been initiated this year, the EXPLORE activities are being continued within the scope of these two new projects. MARI (Manually Activated Reserves Initiative) for research on frequency restoration reserve with manual activation (mFRR) was launched in April, and PICASSO (Platform for the International Coordination of the Automatic frequency restoration process and Stable System Operation) for exploring the integration of automatic frequency restoration reserves (aFRR) followed in August.

> See TenneT press release (html)
> Open FRR Report Addendum (pdf, 1.1mb)


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MARI workshop in Brussels


The European cross-border balancing project MARI (Manually Activated Reserves Initiative) was established in this year’s April. The project’s aim is to implement a European platform for balancing energy from Frequency Restoration Reserves with manual activation (mFRR) in accordance with the EU Commission Guideline on Electricity Balancing. Eight TSC members are among the total of 19 transmission system operators (TSOs) being associated in MARI: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), (Denmark), Swissgrid (Switzerland), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany, 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW.

Already at a very early stage of the project, all MARI partners consider stakeholder communication and feedback to be highly important in order to develop a liquid and user-friendly platform. Therefore the MARI parties invite interested stakeholders to a project workshop on 4 September 2017 in the premises of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) in Brussels, Belgium. Since the number of participants is limited, the event will also be broadcasted via webcast for registered users.

> See TenneT press release (html, with registration details)


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Framework set for MARI


The “Manually Activated Reserves Initiative” – in short: MARI – is a new significant European cross-border balancing project. On April 5, a total of nineteen European transmission system operators (TSOs) signed a memorandum of understanding on a new European platform for Frequency Restoration Reserve with manual activation (mFRR). Among the associated TSOs are eight TSC members: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), (Denmark), Swissgrid (Switzerland), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW.

After the approval of the EU Commission regulation Guideline on Electricity Balancing earlier this year, innovative platforms for the coordination of energy exchange have become necessary. The memorandum maps out common guiding principles on which the respective TSOs already had been working since 2016. Now the participants take concrete actions in view of the design, implementation and operation of the mFRR-platform. They will do so in close cooperation, in order to consolidate a single and shared concept.

Everybody involved is deeply commited to the mFRR development, so the TSOs are very confident not only to meet the requirements of the EU guideline, but also to increase supply security and balancing efficiency. If everything goes as planned, the platform should be ready for operation in 2020.

> See ČEPS press release (html)
> See Swissgrid press release (html)
> See TenneT press release, in German (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)


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Heading towards integrated FFR markets


The EXPLORE study (European X-border Project for LOng term Real-time balancing Electricity market design) has been initiated by the five TSC members APG, the Austrian transmission system operator (TSO), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW in cooperation with the Belgian TSO Elia in early 2015. Since then, the partner TSOs have been evaluating possibilities of integrated markets for frequency restoration reserve (FRR) in order to develope a target model for the transnational exchange of FRRs.

The EXPLORE study involves a complete market model, its consistency and possible starting points for harmonisation efforts. Interlinking aspects between intraday and balancing markets and also between design features of the FRR market itself are taken into account extensively.

After the presentation of first results during a workshop in June 2016, the TSOs have published a comprehensive report on their findings on 21 October. At the behest of the respective national regulatory authorities, stakeholders are invited to respond to the report until 21 November. The participating TSOs dearly appreciate the stakeholder’s feedback and assure that timely feedback will not only be thoroughly considered by the TSOs but will also be shared with all regulatory authorities of the EXPLORE countries.

> See TenneT press release (html)


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