Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR/R1)

By offering balancing means to control frequency, Balancing Service Providers (BSPs) help preserve the stability of the grid’s frequency.

Automatic reserves are needed to stabilise frequency and avoid blackouts in the event of a frequency deviation. The Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR) responds automatically, offsetting frequency deviations and stabilising frequency at a stationary value. The aFRR and mFRR then restore the frequency to its original value. 

Product design

The FCR means must comply with the relevant product design. The main technical requirement for the FCR is an automatic and proportional response to frequency deviations within seconds.
Grid users connected to the Elia grid or a distribution system may directly serve as BSPs by offering balancing flexibility to Elia or teaming up with a third party, who may offer such a service by aggregating multiple delivery points.

FCR procurement and volumes

As Elia is part of the European synchronous area, every year ENTSO-e determines the FCR volume Elia is required to procure to ensure frequency stability. Elia must procure a minimal share of this volume within the Belgian area.

How can European platforms contribute to frequency stability?

Elia is constantly developing and improving balancing services in line with the changing context and regulatory framework, including methodologies approved and regulated at European level. At European level, platforms are being developed to optimise and support the balancing management across countries.
With that in mind, Elia has been a member of FCR Cooperation since 2016.
FCR Cooperation has developed a common process for the procurement of FCR with other TSOs, thus reducing the overall cost of procurement.
FCR Cooperation also strives to harmonise the FCR, consequently facilitating access for smaller market players, improving investment signals and enhancing socio-economic benefits.

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