27th June 2019 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Industry News

The launch of the European Balancing market will be delayed by six months due to difficulties in France.

The European Balancing market’s launch has been delayed until June 2020, as the French transmission system operator, RTE is ‘experiencing difficulties’ in regards to implementing Project TERRE.

It has been estimated that the pan-European balancing market will deliver £11.6m a year in consumer benefits when it is launched. The scheme was initially set to go live in December 2019 but this has now been delayed by six months.

Project TERRE (Trans European Replacement Reserve Exchange) has been developed by the National Grid Electricity System Operator alongside operators from other European countries. The aim of the project is to establish a replacement reserve balancing mechanism for participating countries across the continent.

However, the French transmission system operator (TSO) RTE has requested a 12-month derogation “due to experiencing difficulties with their implementation”. This poses a major problem as France is the UK’s only TERRE trade route into mainland Europe.

The project is a joint-venture between the UK, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland to create a singular European balancing market.

Richard Smith, Head of Commercial at National Grid ESO said: “We have not taken the decision to request a derogation lightly, however, this is based on us being unable to realise the €13 million per annum GB consumer benefits of going live without being able to access Replacement Reserves from other European TSOs.

“In addition to not being able to realise the benefits, there may be a cost to consumers from starting to use the platform. The majority of other TSOs have also decided to delay their go-live date, with only one TSO (Czech Republic) now planning to go live in December 2019.”

During this time, the National Grid ESO will continue to adapt its IT systems to ensure they are ready to implement TERRE when it is eventually launched.