Common Tendering for Frequency Containment Reserves

Since 1st December 2007, German transmission system operators (TSOs) have been meeting their Frequency Containment Reserves (FCR) requirements through shared calls for tenders.

The introduction of the shared call for tenders for FCR has given connecting TSOs a key role to play. A connecting TSO is a TSO in the control area of which the technical units to be marketed by the supplier are connected to the grid, irrespective of the voltage level. The connecting TSO conducts the prequalification procedure for these technical units (e.g. generating units or controllable consumer loads) in its control area and is the sole contracting party of the supplier. If a supplier markets technical units in several control areas, a framework agreement has to be concluded with each respective connecting TSO. A precondition for concluding such a framework agreement is a successful prequalification, whereby the prequalified capacity must at least equal the minimum lot size. The framework agreement is a precondition for taking part in a joint tender for FCR.

The TSO's shared Internet platform has been used to implement the joint call for tenders since 1st December 2007. On this platform, calls for tenders are published, bids are processed, and bidders are informed whether their bids have been accepted or rejected.

When the respective calls for tenders are published, in accordance with Article 6 (2) of the Electricity Network Access Ordinance (StromNZV), the TSOs state the total requirement of the joint tenders. The call for tenders for FCR is 'symmetrical', meaning there is no separate call for tenders for positive FCR (additional power) and negative FCR (less power).

The working day D-2 tender with a product period of one day launched on 1st July 2019 has been replaced by a daily FCR-tender with 4-hour products from 1st July 2020.

Other key details are set out in decisions BK6-10-097 and BK6-18-006 by the German Federal Network Agency (FNA).

Each supplier has its own secure area on the platform to submit bids and consult the outcome of tenders. On 27th June 2011, FNA set the minimum lot size at +/- 1 MW (as compared to the previous minimum of 5 MW).

In accordance with the aforementioned FNA decision, the required quantity put out to tender and the anonymous list of bids are both published on the freely accessible area of the Internet platform.

International FCR Cooperation: Coupling of German, Belgian, Dutch, French, Swiss and Austrian Markets

As the first cooperation partner the Swiss TSO Swissgrid participated from 12th March 2012 to 4th April 2015 in the joint tenders with the German TSOs via 25 MW of the Swiss FCR requirement was procured in the common auctions. Since 7th January 2014, TenneT NL participates in the joint FCR tendering procedure.

As of 7th April 2015, the international cooperation is linked to the Austrian-Swiss FCR tendering procedure. As of 1st August 2016 Belgian TSO Elia and as of 16th January of 2017 French TSO RTE joins the cooperation. This increases the liquidity from the TSO demand side on the FCR market and unlocks new sales options for the participating suppliers. By coupling of the FCR markets, the largest FCR market of Europe was created. In a later stage, the participation of the Danish TSO and the Slovenian TSO Eles is planned.

The joint call for tenders by Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Austria and Switzerland uses the tendering systems that are already in place and is open to all pre-qualified suppliers.

Characteristics of the joint call for tenders:

  • The daily call for tenders for FCR takes place every day at 8:00 hours. From January 2020, a total FCR of approx. 1.400 MW is procured. As per the requirements, the maximum FCR export allowed is 30 % of the country's needed FCR, but never less than 100 MW.
  • For the participating countries a core share will be considered: at least 30 % of country's demand.
  • In case of a shortfall of the tendering volume, the emergency concept of the relevant country is activated. As determined by the FNA, a second call for tenders is then organised on


  • For technical and/or regulatory reasons, it might be necessary to decouple the common market.
  • Decoupling takes place when technical problems occur and/or the allocation algorithms do not deliver a consistent market result.
  • If the markets are decoupled, the relevant call for tenders is clearly identified in the overview.

Primary control reserve

Current tenders can be found in the new data center.