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Groundbreaking Project TERRE set for six month delay following implementation difficulties

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

Project TERRE looks set to be delayed by at least six months after French transmission system operator RTE experienced “difficulties” implementing new systems and controls.

Project TERRE - Trans-European Replacement Reserve Exchange - is a major, Europe-wide programme designed to establish a new replacement reserve balancing product in participating countries.

Those participating include Great Britain through National Grid ESO, France through its transmission system operator RTE, as well as Spain, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Italy.

The project was set to launch in December this year, however RTE has requested a 12 month derogation, with a view to now launch in June 2020.

This has had a knock-on effect, with Britain’s only route to trade on TERRE existing via France.

A letter from National Grid ESO to industry stakeholders, sent last Friday, confirmed the derogation request and said that, due to the “interdependency” between both Britain and France, it had also been forced to submit a similar request to match RTE’s implementation timeline.

With a majority of other TSOs also deciding to delay their go-live date, only Czech Republic’s TSO still plans to go live in December.

National Grid ESO’s letter stresses that while it had not taken its decision to delay its go-live date lightly, it was based on the TSO being unable to realise consumer benefits - valued at around £13 million per year - without accessing the replacement reserve market.

National Grid ESO has however confirmed that it will continue to work on its IT systems and focus on implementing wider access to the Balancing Mechanism from this year, and it will also support TERRE parallel run testing as planned.

In a statement, UK energy technology firm and aggregator Kiwi Power said that the delay was disappointing, but called for the extra time to be used properly.

“It’s vital that this extra time is used wisely so that the market and systems that support it are ready to go from day one and flexibility providers can finally compete on an equal footing with incumbent utilities and generators,” Jonathan Ainley, Kiwi Power’s head of public affairs and UK programme manager, said.

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