Becoming a Balancing Service Provider
Elia acquires balancing services by means of a general framework agreement covering both procurement and provision.
Elia procures balancing services via European public procurement procedures. Elia publishes all documents required by legislation on the relevant European sites and at the end of every year publishes a Periodic Indicative Notice (PIN) setting out the services to be bought the following year.
System qualification procedure
Products procured via a System Qualification procedure are governed by General Framework Agreements that can cover several years. Procurement (of any duration) is organised as per the applicable General Framework Agreement.
Any party wishing to provide a balancing service must become a qualified provider.
At present, Elia uses CIPU contracts to govern use of non-reserved flexibility for balancing services at generation units subject to CIPU contracts. These balancing services are currently excluded from the general framework discussed here.
1 Become a qualified provider
A party should apply to become a qualified provider before signing the General Framework. Potential providers can apply by sending Elia a completed application form and the sworn statement required for the service in question.
Upon receipt of these documents, Elia will have two weeks to approve or reject the application.
Applicants can be excluded from the process on certain grounds, such as being bankrupt or having a criminal record. Elia will also ask that applicants undergo financial screening (generally involving a financial report compiled by an independent assessment firm taking into account balance sheets, liquidity ratios, solvency, and so on).
2 Sign the General Framework
Any providers wishing to participate in an auction must sign the General Framework at the latest the day before they can start submitting bids.
3 Prequalify delivery points
Depending on the product, a prequalification procedure is required for every delivery point to ensure that the service will be delivered correctly. The respective General Framework documents outline the specific procedures to be followed for each product.
4 Bid in short-term auctions
A BSP can participate in short-term capacity auctions to bid on balancing capacity in advance of the Day-Ahead market.
A BSP must offer flexibility for Day D at least equal to the capacity contracted in the auction for the delivery period in question. A BSP can also offer ‘free’ flexibility for balancing services.