Last week Swissgrid introduced the integrated market – a market platform that enables the retrieval of both tertiary control energy and the energy for international redispatches.
As the national grid company, it is Swissgrid’s remit to operate the ancillary services market in Switzerland in such a way as to ensure a stable frequency in the transmission grid. Swissgrid is therefore constantly on the lookout for innovative solutions to further develop the ancillary services market. This includes consolidating manually retrieved products for frequency control and for international redispatch into an integrated market. This integrated market was successfully launched last week.
If frequency fluctuations occur in the transmission grid, Swissgrid actively intervenes and retrieves control energy to stabilise the grid. This is a three-stage process. Power plants and other providers in Switzerland reserve primary, secondary and tertiary control power on behalf of Swissgrid for a fee. While the primary and secondary control energy is retrieved automatically, the tertiary control energy is retrieved manually. In the event of fluctuations in the grid, Swissgrid activates this control energy to restore the balance between production and consumption. It also uses this energy to control energy flows in congestion management. During a redispatch, Swissgrid intervenes in the deployment of power plants and instructs generating units to increase or decrease production to eliminate congestion.
The integrated market now allows the use of tertiary control energy for both frequency control as well as for international redispatches, as both products have the same characteristics and can be retrieved with the same lead time of 15 minutes. The integrated market provides various advantages. The product design is adapted so that the offer tranches are reduced from 4 hours to 1 and the offers can be freely modified. This means that there is no longer any competition between the tertiary control energy market and the intra-day market, and ancillary service providers (ASP) can offer the energy not sold in the intra-day market on the integrated market. The improved technical processes mean that the previous maximum quantity of 100 MW per offer no longer applies. In addition, tendering has also been simplified: it is now also possible to process via ENTSO-E’s Energy Communication Platform (ECP) communication protocol, which enables direct communication between the IT systems of the ASPs and Swissgrid’s bidding platform and thereby automates the processes. This approach also improves the transparency of the processes. The latest data on offers and retrievals of tertiary control energy are delivered to all ASPs via the ECP every hour and are simultaneously published on the Swissgrid website. The remuneration for the redispatches is also being adapted, which will increase the market’s liquidity and lead to market-based remuneration of the power plants for redispatch.
The integrated market is an important milestone for the further development of the control energy market. It simplifies the design of new products and increases both the efficiency and the reliability of the market. It was possible to realise the project thanks to the close cooperation between Swissgrid and its various partners in the Swiss electricity industry.