Keeping the Balance            

Elia aims to maintain the balance on the Belgian grid in real time by making use of the market flexibility offered by Balancing Service Providers (BSPs).

Like any other transmission system operator, Elia keeps an eye on the balance in its control area.
EveryBalance Responsible Party (BRP) is responsible for balancing offtake and injection within its customer portfolio on a quarter-hourly basis. However, when BRPs are unable to do so, Elia may take the necessary steps to reduce the residual imbalance between electricity generation and consumption.
To this end, Elia organises a balancing market through which it can access the flexibility offered by BSPs. Depending on the flexibility product in question (FCR,aFRR  ormFRR), the balancing market has either already been integrated with the markets of neighbouring transmission system operators or is in the process of being integrated.
In practical terms, Elia reserves and activates flexibility through three types of balancing products.

Balancing Rules

Elia takes action to restore the balance by using balancing services in accordance with the rules for the compensation of quarter-hourly imbalances (entry into force: 1 December 2018), as approved by the regulator (also known the Balancing Rules). 

When determining an imbalance within a BRP’s portfolio, Elia appliesimbalance tariffs proportional to the resources used by Elia to manage the imbalance in the control area.

Dimensioning of balancing services

Elia determines the volume of balancing services that is required to keep the balance in the control area, taking into account forecast of renewable generation and the demand, as well as the risk of a dimensioning incident (for example, a sudden drop in generation following an unplanned outage of a power plant). In line with Article 213 of the Code of Conduct, Elia publishes following documents after approval by the regulator:

  • the LFC block operational agreement specifying amongst others the dimensioning rules for Frequency Restoration Reserves or ‘FRR’ (also referred to as aFRR and mFRR);
  • the LFC Means specifying the methodology which determines the volumes of balancing capacity for aFRR and mFRR to be procured.

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