Overview: Wider Access and TERRE

This page gives an overview of the Trans European Replacement Reserve Exchange (Project TERRE) and the removal of barriers facing independent aggregators or consumers wishing to participate in the balancing market, known as Wider Access.

What is Project TERRE?

Project TERRE (Trans European Replacement Reserve Exchange) is a European project to implement a new Replacement Reserve (RR) balancing product, which has been developed by a group of European Transmission System Operators (TSOs), including the GB TSO as National Grid Electricity System Operator (National Grid ESO).

The balancing product is required to fulfil requirements on TSOs from European legislation through the European Electricity Balancing Guideline (EB GL). Among other things, the EB GL requires those TSOs that use RR balancing products (balancing energy products with a >15 minute lead time) as part of their system balancing regime to implement and make operational a new European platform for the exchange of energy.

Project TERRE will enable all TERRE participating Balancing Service Providers (BSPs) (defined as a market participant with reserve-providing groups able to provide balancing services to TSOs) to submit bids to National Grid on an hourly basis to fulfil 15 minute delivery periods.

BSC Modification P344 ‘Project TERRE implementation into GB market arrangements’ and Grid Code Modification GC0097 ‘Grid Code Processes Supporting TERRE’ will implement the TERRE product in the GB electricity market.

What is Wider Access?

Not only will P344 enable independent aggregators to participate in the TERRE balancing product, it will also remove all BSC barriers to customers and independent aggregators participating directly in the RR market and in the existing Balancing Mechanism (BM).

Whilst at the time of P344 solution development there may have been other barriers to independent aggregators or consumers participating in the BM outside of the BSC framework (e.g. in the Grid Code), National Grid has been working to remove these barriers through its wider access work streams .

Independent aggregators are defined as parties who bundle changes in consumer’s loads or distributed generation output for sale in organised markets and who do not simultaneously supply the customer with energy.

Under the BSC framework, independent aggregators will be known as Virtual Lead Parties (VLP) in the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC). The solution to be implemented under Modification P344 will provide a means for their registration and qualification.

As a VLP is a distinct new type of Party to the BSC that only participates in Settlement by offering balancing energy, they will not be subject to the same level of charges and obligations as existing BSC Parties.

Given that VLPs won’t be subject to the same level of charges and obligations, they will not be classed as a Trading Party and hence be unable to trade.

Industry testing of TERRE and Wider Access

ELEXON has published its Industry Testing Strategy for TERRE and Wider Access. Testing will run from August to October 2019, starting with the provision of sample files for the most important settlement interfaces. ELEXON will also work closely with National Grid ESO to support its testing of GB participation in TERRE.

GB testing with TERRE was due to happen this autumn, followed by go-live by the end of the year. National Grid ESO has raised a derogation request with energy regulator Ofgem to delay its participation to no later than December 2020. Depending on Ofgem’s decision on the derogation request, there may be an impact on industry testing timescales.

We will continue to work closely with National Grid ESO to ensure that we play our part in enabling GB’s participation in Project TERRE on the date approved by Ofgem.

How it relates to you

We have compiled a number of FAQs about participating in the TERRE and wider access arrangements. These are not exhaustive but will go some way in explaining key facts that will help you understand how the new arrangements will impact interested companies.

If you have any other questions that are not listed here, please contact market.entry@elexon.co.uk

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