Players on the Austrian electricity market
The European interconnected grid is subdivided into control areas that control the power flows across it. The interconnected grid consists of several areas, each of which is operated separately. Load meters are installed on every power line that crosses a control area boundary, and the readings are transmitted online to the respective control centres. The control area managers calculate in advance how much electricity will need to cross the control area boundaries to fulfil the supply contracts in place. The power stations within the control areas are operated in accordance with these schedules.
Control area managers (CAMs)
- Continuously measure demand within their control areas.
- Transmit these readings to the clearing and settlement agent, which calculates the amount of balancing energy required on the basis of the difference between forecasts and actual supply and demand.
- Bill the clearing and settlement agent for the balancing energy required.
Clearing and settlement agents (CSAs)
Clearing and settlement agents are individuals or entities with official licences to operate a settlement agency.
- Calculate the difference between the balance responsible parties' forecasts and actual flows metered by the system operators
- Bill the balance responsible parties for the balancing energy required
- Pay the control area managers for the balancing energy required
- Obtain offers for balancing energy from producers and compile merit order lists on the basis of these bids
The transmission system operators (TSOs) are responsible for performing the functions of a network operator and for transiting electricity.
Transmission system operators (TSOs)
A balance group consolidates suppliers and consumers into a virtual group within which supply (procurement schedules, injection) and demand (delivery schedules, withdrawals) are balanced. It requires both a clearing and settlement agent and a balance responsible party to function.
Balance responsible parties (BRPs)
All market players are obliged to join balance groups. They supply power to and/or procure it from their balance groups. The purpose of a balance group is to even out supply and demand fluctuations.
The balance responsible parties represent their groups in dealings with other market players.
- Obtain day ahead consumption forecasts from all the suppliers in their balance group
- Send these forecasts to the clearing and settlement agent
- Pay the clearing and settlement agent for the balancing energy
- Bill the suppliers for the balancing energy required
The distribution system operators (DSOs) are obliged to transport electricity in accordance with the existing contracts between producers and withdrawers, in return for payment of the regulated system charges. They must take any action necessary, under the prevailing technical circumstances, to maintain network stability. In particular, they must make long-term investments to maintain the operability of their networks.
Distribution system operators (DSOs)
- Conclude system access contracts with their customers
- Transport electricity to their customers
- Meter consumption and attribute it to the individual balance groups
- Transmit consumption data to the clearing and settlement agent.
The suppliers sell electricity to their customers. Since October 2001 system operators have been obliged to grant all suppliers non-discriminatory access to their networks. As a result all consumers have a choice of suppliers.
- Conclude supply contracts with their customers.
- Notify their balance responsible party of their customers' forecast consumption for the next day
- Bill their customers for the power they consume
Electricity consumers. Since 1 October 2001 all consumers — households, small and medium-sized, and large businesses — have been free to choose their suppliers.
- Conclude supply contracts with their suppliers.
- Pay their suppliers for the power they consume
A producer is a natural person, legal entity or partnership that generates electricity.
- Conclude contracts with electricity suppliers or OeMAG (the green power clearing and settlement agent)
An electricity wholesaler is a natural person, legal entity or partnership gainfully selling electricity. An electricity wholesaler performs no transmission or distribution functions either inside or outside of the network in which it operates.
- Conclude contracts with producers.
- Conclude contracts with electricity suppliers and/or other electricity wholesalers or traders
Nominated electricity market operator (NEMO)
NEMO is responsible for introducing single day-ahead and/or intraday market-coupling.