Background of the cooperation (pilot project/leading role within the EU)
German and Austrian Transmission System Operators (AUT/GER-TSOs) are already using joint automatic Frequency Restoration Reserves (aFRR) and are active part of the International Grid Control Cooperation (IGCC). With the IGCC, opposing activation for aFRR is avoided by netting in advance.
As a next logical step, aiming for further market integration and reduction of balancing energy cost, the AUT/GER-TSOs have developed a concept for the joint activation of mFRR which is based on a joint merit order and a TSO-TSO model . Since successful commissioning on the 4th of December 2019, AUT/GER-TSOs cooperate across all control reserve types, which is, so far, unique in Europe and incorporates valuable experience to European balancing platform projects, such as the mFRR-platform implementation project MARI (Manually Activated Reserves Initiative), as requested by the Guideline on Electricity Balancing (EB-GL).
Harmonisation of mFRR-Product and Market Rules
The mFRR-product and the tendering rules of Germany and Austria are already harmonized to a large extent. The procurement of dimensioning volume remains a local process. The bidding period for the daily mFRR tenders starts one week in advance, i.e. D-7, at 10:00 (Gate open time) and ends D-1 at 10:00 (Gate closure time), D being the delivery day. The tenders are opened and closed on a calendar day basis (Monday to Sunday).
Differences remain for the „Full Activation Time“, which is set to 12.5 minutes in Austria, whereas in Germany it is 15 minutes. Penalization remains subject to local Terms and Conditions.
To facilitate the joint call-up, neither in Germany nor in Austria there will be changes regarding the products or tendering rules beyond those determined in the most recent consultations.
Joint Activation and Netting
The accepted offers are merged to a common Merit Order List (CMOL) and sorted by the level of the balancing energy price. In the case of equal prices, an algorithm for reproducible randomization will be applied.
The Activation Optimization Function executes the joint optimization and activation with the objective of achieving the economic optimum by taking into account operational and technical limitations related to the border between Germany and Austria.
Tender results are published within an hour after Gate Closure [Austria: Tendering and Trading System of APG tts.apg.at/emwebapgrem ; Germany: www.regelleistung.net].
The published data include all accepted and activated offers as well as netted volumes exchanged cross-border.
The settlement between TSOs and mFRR-BSPs remains unchanged in both countries, however, a TSO-TSO-settlement mechanism has been established. In simple terms: The importing TSO remunerates the exporting TSO for the exported bids, which correspond to the most expensive activated bids of the BSPs connected to the exporting TSO.
In case no exchange takes place due to the current constellation of prices or due to technical or operational restrictions, no settlement takes place between the TSOs. In the case of netting of opposite demands, the price for the energy exchanged is set to zero.
 In this TSO-TSO model, the respective TSOs remain Single Point of Contact for dimensioning, prequalification, procurement and activation of mFRR. Operational processes between TSOs and BSPs in the course of activations remain unaffected by this mFRR-cooperation.