Common tendering for primary control reserve

Since 1st December 2007, German transmission system operators (TSOs) have been meeting their primary control reserve (PCR) requirements through shared calls for tenders.

The introduction of the shared call for tenders for PCR 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 PCR.

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 PCR is 'symmetrical', meaning there is no separate call for tenders for positive PCR (additional power) and negative PCR (less power).

Since 1st July 2019, the tender submission period is one calendar day. The tenders close on working days D-2.To this end, a tendering calendar can be downloaded from the Internet platform.

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

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

In accordance with the aforementioned NRA 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 PCR cooperation: coupling of German, Belgian, Dutch, French, Swiss and Austrian markets

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

As of 7th April 2015, the international cooperation is linked to the Austrian-Swiss PCR 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 PCR market and unlocks new sales options for the participating suppliers. By coupling the PCR markets, the largest PCR market of Europe with a total current demand of over 1384 MW is created. In a later stage, the participation of the Danish system operator is planned.

The joint call for tenders by Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, 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 PCR takes place every working day (D-2) at 15:00 hours. Thursdays and Fridays two auctions take place. In case of public holidays in the participating countries, deviations are possible. Please always consult the most recent tendering schedule.
  • From January 2019, a total PCR of nearly 1470 MW is procured. As per the requirements, the maximum PCR export allowed is 30 % of the country's needed PCR, but never less than 100 MW. This results in the following values for the participating countries: 100 MW for Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland, 181 MW for Germany and 158 MW for France.
  • Core portions for the participating countries will be considered. Belgium fulfills this requirement of the System Operation Guideline by performing a separate national auction. For the rest of the participating countries the following core portions will be considered: Austria 20 MW, France 159 MW, Germany 182 MW, Netherlands 34 MW and Switzerland 19 MW.
  • In case of a deficit in tendering volume, the emergency concept of the relevant country is activated. As determined by the FNA, a second call for tenders is then organised in Germany.


  • For technical and/or regulatory reasons, it might be necessary to decouple the common market. The coupled German, Dutch, Austrian and Swiss markets are then split up into two sub-markets: -Switzerland and Germany-Austria-Belgium-Netherlands-France.
  • 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.


Tender results