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Abbreviations and terms
FCR Frequency Containment Reserves 
aFRR automatic Frequency Restoration Reserves 
mFRR manual Frequency Restoration Reserves 
LP Labor Price
PPPerformance Price
MO Merit-Order (Sorting offers based on their prices from the cheapest to the most expensive)
MOL Merit-Order-List (Sorting of bids based on their labor prices to determine the call-off order from the cheapest to the most expensive)

1. PQ power in Germany

When, how and from which plants can control power be provided?

Unavoidable (forecast) imbalances in generation and consumption cause deviations from the SET grid frequency of 50Hz, which must be compensated for by means of control power. In principle, this can be done by any plant, whether generator (generation side) or consumer (demand side), which can adjust its output according to the control power requirements. If consumption is higher than generation, the grid frequency drops and positive control power is used. This can be done by increasing generation power and/or decreasing consumption power. If the consumption is below the generation, the grid frequency increases and negative control power is used. This can be done by reducing generation power and/or increasing consumption power.

What technologies make up the PQ output of each control power type?

PQ-Leistung in Deutschland (Stand: 01.01.2023)

Which providers are prequalified for the various types of control services?

Anbieterliste (Stand: 01.04.2023)

2. PQ conditions and PQ process

Where can I find the currently valid PQ conditions?

PQ-Bedingungen (Stand: 03.06.2022)

What does prequalification cover?

Prequalification is basically an all-encompassing process that is not limited exclusively to the technical unit. Among other things, it considers the following aspects in particular, whereby the characteristics of the individual points depend on whether, for example, a provider is completely new or merely wishes to add further technical units to its pool:

  • Provider company (business partner check, etc.) 
  • IT-technical connection of the supplier pool to the TSO's call-off and monitoring systems. 
  •   Pool management of the provider: technical systems as well as organizational concepts (pool/power plant scheduling, load management, etc.) 
  • IT-technical connection of the individual technical units to the pool management of the provider  
  • Pool management of the provider: pool/power plant deployment planning  
  • Provision and supply concepts for the individual technical unit 
  • valid agreements with the owner/operator, the connection network operator and the balancing group manager of the technical unit 
  • Technical evaluation of the individual technical unit

Therefore, "series/model PQs" are generally not possible without further ado. Likewise, a new prequalification of an already prequalified technical unit is generally necessary if it changes the provider and thus the technical and organizational connection/affiliation. To optimize the prequalification process and make it more transparent, the TSOs have implemented a PQ portal. Every TE goes through the PQ processes here, from the application to the release of the prequalification. You can find it at pq-portal.energy

Which plants can be prequalified?

In principle, technology openness applies, i.e., all technical units can be prequalified regardless of the technology if they fully meet all PQ requirements. In particular, however, "new technologies" must be checked separately and more extensively in the PQ procedure. This applies in particular with regard to their reliability in terms of power and work availability as well as control dynamics. Due to the high importance for system security, the TSOs are obliged to ensure, in accordance with the valid technical rules and legal requirements, that only technical units participate in the balancing power market that fundamentally fulfill the valid and necessary requirements on a sustained basis and in every assumed network situation.

Can a plant be prequalified for multiple control power products and is a separate prequalification required for each?

Prequalification of a plant for several control power products is possible. A separate prequalification procedure must be carried out for each product in order to meet the specific requirements of the product. After successful prequalification, a separate framework agreement is then concluded for each balancing power product.

Can plant combinations consisting of different individual plants (e.g. PV plant + battery storage + buffer storage with heating rod) also be prequalified as one technical unit?

This is possible, but it should be noted that in principle each prequalification is a case-by-case decision. For the prequalification of plants of any kind, an individual investigation is necessary in each case, for which the applicant must provide all required documents to the connecting TSO in each case and thus present the concept of RL provision by the plant.

What are the requirements for battery storage capacity in the German FCR market? Are 30 minutes or 15 minutes relevant as a time criterion?

The EU Commission has only settled on a range of between 15 and 30 minutes. It is up to the member states to specify a time within this period. In order to have sufficient FCR on the grid even in critical grid situations, the German TSOs continue to insist on the 30 minutes.

Is it possible to prequalify plants for control power that only have on/off control?

This question must be considered from the point of view of the product and the call-off management: It is not possible for FCR, since FCR must be provided independently by each individual TE according to the power frequency deviation. In the case of aFRR, this is also not possible from the PD's point of view. aFRR call-offs are made according to the power frequency control and thus at different levels. However, if the PD is in a pool, this may be possible if the pool management is able to continue to provide aFRR from the pool in total in accordance with the SET value specified by the TSO by controlling the individual PDs accordingly. In the mFRR, on the other hand, such plants could be prequalified, as there is the possibility of indivisible block bids in the case of allocation and call-off.

What is the range of costs for a prequalification procedure?

How high the costs are explicitly depends on the individual case and cannot be quantified in general. The TSOs do not charge the providers any fees. The specific costs to be borne by the providers are not known to the TSOs and vary greatly from case to case.

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Tendering and awarding

1. General

What is the pass-through number specified in each tender?

If the TSO's tendered demand cannot be met, a second tender is issued. In that case, the pass number 2 would be there. As a rule, however, the first run is sufficient to cover the tender requirement.

What is meant by "performance price (PP)" and "labor price (LP)" and how are they formed?

The capacity price is the price that the supplier receives for the mere provision of balancing power, irrespective of a call. This price applies for the entire tender period for the respective product time slice.


A supplier offers 10 MW for 15 (€/MW)/h in the daily auction MRL in the product time slice POS_08_12 and is awarded a contract, so he must hold 10 MW positive mFRR on the delivery day from 08:00-12:00 and is remunerated for this with 10 MW * 15 (€/MW)/h*4h = 600 €.
The energy price is the price that a supplier receives for the energy quantities actually delivered on call.


The supplier from the above example has offered a commodity price of 70 €/MWh (grid to supplier) and receives a call of 7 MW from 10:30-11:30. For this, he then receives 7 MW * 1h * 70 €/MWh = 490 €.

In case of under-performance contrary to the contract (i.e. too little delivery), a reduction of the remuneration of the performance price would be made proportionate to the time and quantity. In case of repetition, this can be penalized and even lead to the withdrawal of the prequalification.

Both the service price and the labor price are determined by the bidder himself when submitting the bid. Pay-as-bid" applies, i.e. each bid that is awarded or called off is remunerated at its individual bid price.

Are there lower and upper limits for quantities and prices when submitting bids, awarding contracts and calling off contracts, and what rules apply to awarding contracts and calling off contracts?

The minimum bid size is 1 MW. This applies to all FCR, aFRR and mFRR products. Further information on product details can be found at regelleistung.net .

The upper limit for bidding is set by the prequalified output per supplier and product type. When submitting a bid, any unavailability of technical units (e.g. maintenance) and reserves as collateral for the failure of technical units must be taken into account.

Allocation and call-off are carried out for each product time slice until demand is met along a merit order list (MOL), which is formed by sorting the service or work prices from the cheapest to the most expensive.

For the exact auction, award and call-off rules, please refer to the respective product descriptions on our Internet platform and to the sample framework agreements including their annexes available for download there.

What is meant by the terms "supplier to network" and "network to supplier"?

The designation specifies the payment direction of the work price and is selected by the supplier himself when submitting the offer. The supplier can decide whether he wants to be paid for call-off and thus for the supply of standard work or whether he is willing to pay for call-off.

The latter can be the case in particular for the supply of negative control energy, if the supplier saves fuel when the output of a power plant is reduced (generation side) or receives energy when the output of a consumer is increased (demand side).

Is it permissible to submit bids for several product time slices per tender period and, if so, to design them differently?

A provider may offer its prequalified service completely independently of one another in each product time slice. In doing so, it can structure its offered service level differently from time slice to time slice depending on its availability as well as its service and work prices depending on its (opportunity) costs. Thus, it is possible for a provider to offer a service only temporarily in some time slices if it is not available in others or is needed/marketed elsewhere.

Likewise, service and labor prices for each time slice can be individually adjusted to the respective market situations and (opportunity) costs of the corresponding time slice.

Is it possible/allowed to offer/provide multiple product types at the same time?

If plants are prequalified for several balancing power products, the provider has the freedom to decide individually how to market the prequalified power of the plants. He can divide the capacity of his pool and also of each individual technical unit into any number of capacity slices and market these completely flexibly at different prices and in different control reserve products. However, a power slice may never be marketed twice.

2. FCR / aFRR / mFRR

In addition to the data for Germany regarding FCR, the tender overview also contains data for other countries. What do these data represent?

There is an international cooperation for the procurement of FCR, in which a growing number of countries participate. The needs of each country are to be covered in the joint, cross-border tender. However, country-specific core parts as well as export limits have to be complied with, so that a certain demand share has to be mandatorily procured in the respective country, as well as the export.

Why does the aFRR capacity awarded in some tenders exceed the TSOs' tendered requirements?

In aFRR, Germany and Austria cooperate within the framework of cross-border, cost-optimizing procurement. As a result, the German TSOs may provide secondary control power for Austria and vice versa.

The previous cooperation for the cost-optimized use of secondary control power has been transferred to PICASSO with its introduction. The aim of PICASSO is to optimize the cost of using secondary control reserve throughout Europe.

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Call-off of control power

1. General

Is partial payment also possible for the respective types of standard benefits?

Standard services must always be provided in the requested amount, although tolerances are allowed (see next point). For this purpose, partial quantities of an offer can also be activated/requested. FCR is always called up independently by the providing TE on the basis of the grid frequency deviation determined by the plant control system, antiproportionally to this. For detailed information, especially on the minimum call-off sizes and call-off increments for aFRR and mFRR, please refer to the currently valid specifications and rules, which can be found on our Internet platform.

To what extent is overshooting permissible for control power? What are the consequences of non-compliance?

There is room for acceptance and tolerance. For details of how these are structured, please refer to the   PQ-Bedingungen and the downloads on sample contracts and billing modalities provided there. In short: Excess deliveries outside the tolerances remain in the balancing group of the supplier. This may result in schedule deviations for the supplier, which may be associated with costs. Underdeliveries outside the tolerances can be penalized by the TSO. In the event of repeated occurrence, the TSO can take measures that may even lead to the exclusion of individual TEs or even the provider. Control power is an extremely important product for system security. Its provision in accordance with the qualitative and quantitative requirements demanded by the TSOs must therefore be taken extremely seriously.

To what extent are external price components such as grid usage charges, levies, taxes and surcharges incurred when power is consumed to provide negative control reserve?

If, in the course of the provision of negative control reserve, self-consumption generation is reduced and/or consumers are ramped up, this may result in (increased) consumption from the grid. In principle, all external price components (levies, network charges, etc.) must be paid for this (increased) consumption. However, exemptions are possible due to (temporary) special legal regulations. However, due to the complexity and diversity, this question cannot be answered conclusively and generally, which is why it must be clarified in each individual case. At this point, special reference should also be made to the BNetzA's determination BK6-17-046 of 17.09.2017, which contains regulations on this issue.

2. FCR / aFRR / mFRR

How and how often is the FCR retrieved?

The FCR is provided automatically and continuously on the basis of the grid frequency deviation. There is no activation by the TSO, the system control of the technical units performs this independently. The provision of FCR must be logged by the plant control system in accordance with specified rules and the log must be transmitted to the connection TSO on request for the purpose of verifying that the provision complies with the rules.

How and how often is the aFRR retrieved? 

aFRR is automatically retrieved by the TSO's control systems along the labor price MOL via an IT telecontrol link. As a rule, the individual TE of a supplier is not directly controlled by the TSO, but the control room of the supplier, which forwards the call in its pool to its TEs. aFRR serves to replace the FCR and to regulate the grid frequency to 50Hz. Since, due to unavoidable forecast errors, consumption and generation are almost never exactly in balance except for a tolerable few MW, aFRR is used almost universally for frequency regulation, with the direction and level varying depending on the situation.

Is a positive and negative call-off of aFRR per ¼ hour possible at the same time? 

Yes, for example, at the change of hours or quarter-hourly changes (smallest trading and schedule periods), the direction of the NRV balance may change within a 15-minute interval and thus positive and negative secondary control reserve may be called up. This is due to the reaction times of the technical units and the possibly rapidly changing demand for control power. 

How and how often is mFRR called?

mFRR is requested manually by the TSO to replace aFRR when it is in use to a greater extent. The retrieval is also automated along the labor price MOL via a scheduling system. According to the schedule transmitted via IT connection, the provider must then provide the mFRR from its pool. The use of mFRR in relation to aFRR is generally rare and only necessary in the event of major forecast deviations and thus imbalances in generation and consumption.

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Data creation and preparation

I am looking for other data than available on your internet platform regarding requirements, tender results and/or call-offs and/or would like to have them provided in another form. Is this possible?

Unfortunately, we can currently only offer you the corresponding data to the extent and in the form that it is currently available for viewing and downloading on our Internet platform. However, we are continuously working on further development in order to be able to offer you additional data, data in greater scope / greater resolution or additional processing formats / scopes in the future, if necessary. However, please also take into account that we are always bound by legal requirements. For reasons of market and data law, we are not permitted in some cases to provide further/differentiated data or to do so at shorter notice. This applies in particular to data on individual providers and those from which shortages can be derived, if applicable, which could be misused by market players, for example. 

Important notice:

Current data on the following data points can be found on netztransparenz.de since 22.06.2022:

We are currently working on moving the historical data from regelleistung.net tonetztransparenz.de.

European cooperations

For questions regarding our international / European cooperation:

  • FCR Cooperation
  • IGCC
  • MARI

please use our contact form. Here


How does the settlement of balancing energy costs work? In which cases do balancing group managers have to pay for deviations in their schedules and in which cases can they generate revenue?

The uniform balancing energy price (reBAP) across control areas is calculated for each quarter hour, on the basis of which the balancing group deviations are settled financially. For the exact calculation of the reBAP, please refer to the explanations and downloads on our Internet platform. The possible constellations when balancing group deviations lead to costs or revenues are also shown there.

In summary:

reBAP [€/MWh]Underfunded balancing group
Covered balancing group

Are the German TSOs responsible for the procurement of reactive power? Is there any data on the tendering procedure, prices and the quantities procured?

It is not possible to procure and provide reactive power centrally, as is the case with balancing power, since for technical reasons reactive power must be provided as locally as possible where it is needed. To this end, network operators, both TSOs and DSOs, use local compensation facilities or instruct power plants to provide reactive power.

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