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Who are our customers?
In 2019, nearly 920 companies were RTE customers, accounting for approximately 1 400 sites, divided into four distinct categories:
170 electrical power generators
380 industrial consumers directly connected to our grid
130 distributors forming the link between our grid and end users
240 market players: traders and service providers, who buy and sell electricity
These customers are:
Nearly 650 industrial sites are directly connected to our transmission system across the country. These are France’s biggest industrial sites comprising almost all of the traditional energy-intensive consumers (steel, non-ferrous metals, large-scale chemistry plants, paper, automotive, railways, etc.). SNCF Réseau is the biggest consumer currently connected to the transmission system.
In terms of size, Enedis is still RTE’s biggest customer. The other distributors are local distribution companies, including 31 tier-1 LDCs connected to the transmission system and about one hundred tier-2 LDCs (connected to the distribution network) liaising with RTE on market-related topics.
Electrical power generators
170 power generators are connected to the transmission system with more than 300 sites: nuclear power plants belonging to the legacy utility, conventional fossil-fuelled plants (combined-cycle plants, gas turbines, coal-fired plants) belonging to multiple players (ENGIE, UNIPER, CELEST, etc.) and the majority of the hydro fleet (EDF, CNR) installed in France. This conventional fleet is supplemented by the main co-generation facilities installed on the premises of large-scale manufacturers, about 50 wind farms and 70 solar farms.
Market players are traders or balancing service providers who form a recent, diverse and evolving group of players. At present, 240 players are directly or indirectly involved in market mechanisms established by RTE since the opening-up of markets, in conjunction with all stakeholders: balance responsible entity system, adjustment mechanism, capacity mechanism, system services, demand-side response compensation mechanism (NEBEF, demand-side response invitations to tender), rapid and contingency reserves, etc.
This list includes the main power suppliers, directly connected large-scale manufacturers, demand-side response operators, traders or banks, foreign TSOs for use of interconnections and distributors, etc. The associated volume is not an aggregate sum as most of these players are involved in a number of mechanisms.
A new type of capacity has been emerging over the past few years: storage facilities (pumped storage, compressed-air storage, hydrogen conversion, electrochemical cells and inertia flywheels). Being proposed as possible alternatives to conventional generation and transmission infrastructure, these flexibility solutions are designed to support the growth of the renewable energy fleet in order to further decarbonise the energy mix.