The Nordic TSOs confirm the need for longer implementation time of 15 minutes imbalance settlement period

"The Nordic TSOs will recommend a delay in the implementation of 15 minutes imbalance settlement period for more than a year," says Niclas Damsgaard, chair of the Nordic Steering Group for Nordic Balancing Model.

The information was given at the Nordic TSOs' Solution workshop in Copenhagen on April 26th, following up on the press release published by the Nordic transmission system operators on March 14th, where they stated a possible delay.

The current deadline for implementing 15 minutes imbalance settlement period is December 18th 2020. In the Electricity Balancing Guidelines the need for a longer implementation time has been foreseen, opening up for derogations for up to four years.

The implementation of 15 minutes imbalance settlement period brings along a comprehensive change of systems and regulations for the transmission system operators (TSOs). 15 minutes time resolution for electricity markets has a critical impact on the TSO balancing processes which need to be highly automated, and is thus an integrated part of the development of a new Nordic Balancing Model. "To ensure a safe and secure transition, we see the need of longer implementation time", says Damsgaard, who suggests that a delay for more than a year will be necessary for the TSOs.

The transition to 15 minutes time resolution also implies significant changes for market players, distribution system operators (DSOs) and other stakeholders. A successful and robust implementation depends upon thorough preparations from all parties, and on close cooperation and mutual involvement between the TSOs and affected stakeholders. "To achieve the necessary involvement, we have established national as well as a common Nordic stakeholder reference group. We will have webinars and seminars for all stakeholders," says Damsgaard. A more detailed roadmap will be presented on a Nordic Balancing Model stakeholder webinar on May 29th. The updated roadmap will be published on the NBM website in relation to the stakeholder webinar and be subject to public consultation. Taking the responses from the consultation into account, the TSOs will revise the roadmap. This roadmap will then provide a basis for proposing a new deadline for implementation of 15 min imbalance settlement period. The date is then to be decided by the Nordic National Regulatory Authorities.

15 minutes time resolution

The power system must be in balance, i.e. consumption of electricity must at any given time be matched by an equal amount of production of electricity. Up until now, changes in balance are being planned and traded on an hourly basis, and changes within the hour are being met by TSO reserve mechanisms. The 15 minutes time resolution will enable the parties in the power market to plan their own balance more accurately, and thus enabling a more efficient exploitation of the power resources and the grid.

Nordic Balancing Model (NBM)

The prerequisites for efficient balancing of the Nordic power system are currently changing as we gradually move towards a green, integrated and harmonized European power market. The NBM program will ensure the necessary update of the balancing market design, develop methods and operational processes as well as related IT systems Nordic region. The NBM program also includes the implementation of 15 minutes time resolution.