Utilitas was the first in Estonia to be prequalified as a manual frequency reserve provider

Utilitas is the first Estonian company whose device was recognized by Elering as a manual frequency recovery reserve (mFRR) provider to meet the requirements of the European frequency management platform. Frequency control reserves will be crucial for connecting the Baltic states’ electricity systems to the European frequency band in February 2025.

At the beginning of next year, the electricity systems of the Baltic States will be connected to the continental European frequency band for security reasons. According to Kalle Kilk, CEO of Elering, in addition to extensive network development works, the process also involves years of cooperation between countries in order to be ready to ensure the necessary frequency in the new situation, which is one of the most important parameters of the reliability of the electricity system and is controlled from Russia in today’s situation, when Estonia and the Baltic States belong to a frequency band common to Russia.

“The connection of the Baltic electricity systems to the continental European synchronous area will bring about a fundamental change in the organisation of balancing the entire current Baltic electricity systems, as a result of which the Baltic system operators will create the ability to take responsibility for the frequency control themselves,” said Kalle Kilk, Chairman of the Management Board of Elering. “Reserves are also important from another aspect – more flexibility is needed to manage the electricity system given the growing share of renewable energy, as unpredictability and forecast error in the system increases,” Kilk added.

Utilitas is currently the first company to offer a service to the Baltic common regulatory market  by switching on  and  off the consumption of a 7-megawatt electric boiler, depending on whether the consumption needs to be increased or decreased for the balance of the electricity system. The boiler is connected to the district heating network, which means that the inertia of the district heating system can be used to balance the electrical system.

“Synchronising the Baltic electricity system with continental Europe is a major task, to which all market participants should contribute according to their possibilities. We believe that solutions based on cooperation between different energy sectors will make the energy system more efficient, flexible and reliable and will help to carry out the transition to an economy with a low carbon footprint in the most favourable way,” said Priit Koit, CEO of Utilitas.

For joint frequency management, pan-European digital market platforms will be used after joining the continental European band, which will collect all reserve offers and optimise the activation of reserves, achieving the greatest socio-economic benefit,  and in order to join, the reserve provider will have to go through a prequalification process. Elering, together with other Baltic system operators, will join the market platforms MARI and PICASSO, which aggregate energy offers on European regulatory markets, which are aimed at operating the energy offers of the Manual Frequency Recovery Reserve (mFRR) and the Automatic Frequency Recovery Reserve (aFRR), respectively. Joining the MARI platform will take place in October of this year and joining the PICASSO platform at the end of the year.

Baltic system operators are convinced of the ability of frequency reserve providers to provide the service with jointly developed prequalifications. Technical prequalification is a prerequisite for participation in the markets of the European energy platforms MARI and PICASSO, and also gives the right to participate in the upcoming Baltic FCR (frequency maintenance), aFRR and mFRR capacity markets.

Utilitas was the first in Estonia to receive a confirmation of compliance in order to participate in the regulation market energy supply platform MARI with manual frequency restoration reserve offers. Other similar consumers in Estonia are also welcome to offer flexibility to the Estonian electricity system.