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BB200606, News in Brief

French regulator leads the way in imposing half hourly gate closure and forges union with Spanish networks

30.01.2007

French regulating body CRE (la Commission de regulation de l’énergie) is moulding the electricity balancing system in France towards more real-time organisation by demanding that grid operator RTE produces firm plans on a half hourly gate closure system that it can approve by July 1. At the latest it wants France to be up and running with half hourly gates at the start of next year.

Half hourly bidding-in is very amenable to wind power for wind power generating units can predict with a high degree of accuracy exact production loads. CRE has even gone a step further and asked RTE to detail the specifics on having 24 gates (half hourly gate closure) across the interconnections. RTE is to lay out its proposals by October 1 this year. New rules for French Spanish interconnection come into force On the first of June CRE is putting into practice a joint initiative with the Spanish Ministry of Industry new rules harmonizing the French and Spanish networks following a process that first took shape at the end of January 2005. (see release below) The two national transmission operators sent in the restructuring rules on the 26 April 2006 which foresee a daily meshing of the two markets on a day-ahead basis.

Auctions will allow reservation of capacity on an annual, monthly, daily and intra-daily basis. Starting with two intra-day auctions, the TSOs (transmission system operators) are nevertheless instructed to set in motion, no later than the 15 November 2006, six intra-day auctions.

In an encouraging signal to an internal electricity market, CRE has requested submissions also on British participation in the French balancing market. It is aiming to tackle the distortions incumbent in balancing and interconnection, and requested concrete proposals on overcoming this from the different national grid operators by a deadline of 1 January 2007.

CRE has already been active on these issues, holding hearings on gate closure changes, and is following other lines of inquiry where improvement can be made as well. It has been calling for greater transparency on the financial rules governing post-congestion management, and for ways of addressing the structural surplus on the balancing/imbalance account of RTE.

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