International Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR) cooperation: France joining the coupled markets of Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands


50Hertz, Amprion, APG, Elia, RTE, Swissgrid, TenneT, TransnetBW announce the succesful first common cross border frequency containment reserve (FCR) auction with RTE held on the 10th of January 2017 for the delivery period of the third week of 2017. The common cross border weekly FCR auctions now include participation of the Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, German, French and Swiss balancing service providers.

FCR is the most flexible balancing capacity product procured by the transmission system operators. FCR automatically and continuously regulates positive and negative frequency deviations within 30 seconds.

This common FCR market is the largest FCR market in Europe, with a total demand of about 1400 MW, which is almost half of the continental Europe FCR demand. The joining of West Denmark is also planned in the future. This regional market weighs today about 200 million euros per year.

The common auction allows the transmission system operators to procure FCR at minimum cost for end users, while offering a large common market for all balancing service providers. The public price signal of the FCR auction sets a clear reference for active investors on this market with new technologies such as demand side response and batteries.

This voluntary initiative of the transmission system operators, established in coordination with the national regulatory authorities takes a new step towards the European integration of the balancing markets, in the directions set by the future Electricity Balancing Guideline and the Clean Energy for All European package. In order to be able to meet the new challenges, the TSOs are also currently seeking to improve this cooperation by means of an ongoing public consultation.(

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