French delays leave GB users shut out of Terre platform benefits until 2020

GB power customers will not be able to benefit for another year from sharing reserves with the EU’s internal energy market, it has emerged. The delay means GB customers miss out on savings of up to €13 million.

The IEM’s shared-reserve system, known as Terre (Trans European Replacement Reserve Exchange), will allow national system operators to call on reserves from across Europe to help manage the system (note, it refers to increasing or decreasing power supply at short notice from operating plant and the demand side, rather than the seasonal or long term availability of plant recognised by the Capacity Market). It is expected to cut GB balancing costs by €13 million annually, because the ESO can choose the cheapest replacement from across Europe, rather than just GB options.

GB was required to join Terre by December this year. However, it has to participate via GB interconnectors with France, and French operator RTE has experienced problems with Terre and requested a year’s delay to its go-live. It hopes to join the system in summer 2020. In fact, other national operators have also requested delays and only one, the Czech Republic, is now expected to go live as planned in December this year.

National Grid ESO has requested a derogation because GB customers would bear any costs of being nominally in Terre, without being able to access the benefits.

The ESO said it would focus on developing IT systems and especially those required for wider access to the GB Balancing Market from this year. That is expected to deliver benefits of over £100 million per annum. It also promised to use the extra time to ensure its IT systems were fully tested for eventual Terre go-live.

Jonathan Ainley, head of public affairs and UK programme manager at Kiwi Powe, said the delay was dssapointing, adding, “It’s vital that this extra time is used wisely so that the market and systems that support it are ready to go from day one and flexibility providers can finally compete on an equal footing with incumbent utilities and generators.”


Further reading

Limejump enters virtual power plant into balancing market

As Project Terre gets the go-ahead: from the New Power archive – European reserve auction platform ‘could cut balancing costs by a quarter’

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