Magnus Energy supports roll-out of pan-European MARI project

23 November 2022 3 min. read

Last month, one of Europe’s biggest energy balancing projects reached a major milestone. The so-called MARI project saw the first five Transmission System Operators (TSO) plugged onto the new platform, with more system operators to join the platform in a phased approach over the coming twelve months.

In 2017, European Commission created the Electricity Balancing Guideline (EBGL), with the aim of regulating and coordinating the cross-border exchange of balancing energy.

The backdrop is clear: countries rarely have a perfect balance between power generation and power consumption – a situation which is exacerbated by the growing share of renewable energy. By streamlining demand and supply across borders, overall power management can become more efficient.

Magnus Energy supports roll-out of pan-European MARI project

The Electricity Balancing Guideline outlines a set of technical, operational and market rules which facilitates and unifies the cross-border exchange of balancing energy. EBGL also stipulates the establishment of several centralised European balancing platforms by Transmission System Operators.

This has resulted in several projects: MARI (for mFRR), PICASSO (for aFRR), TERRE (for RR), IGCC (for IN) and lastly, on a voluntary basis, the FCR project.

The MARI project

The Manually Activated Reserve Initiative (MARI) project aims to deliver the EBGL obligations relating to the Manual Frequency Restoration Reserve Implementation Framework (mFRR) platform. Initially 19 European TSOs started working on technological solutions under the umbrella of the MARI project, but in 2018 that number was expanded to 29 TSOs from 26 countries.

The mFRR platform provides the centralised European platform to match energy balancing bids and demands with manual activation across international borders, thereby enabling the secure exchange of balancing energy across Europe and maximising economic surplus.

On 5 October 2022, the platform has been brought successfully into operation with accession of five TSOs. If all goes to plan, all participating TSOs will have been connected to MARI by the summer of 2023.

Delivery consultant: Magnus Energy

One of lead consultants on the multi-year project is Magnus Energy, a management consultancy dedicated to the energy landscape.

The Netherlands-based firm has been involved since 2019 as a provider of program and project management services. “Besides supporting the Steering Committee and the different working groups (Operational, Technical, Testing and Legal), as PMOs we also actively support the alignment with other energy balancing projects,” explained Gertjan Meutgeert, partner at Magnus Energy.

The consultancy in addition plays a supportive role towards the 29 TSOs that are required to successfully establish and implement the mFRR platform. “We facilitate the multitude of deliverables, discussions and processes needed to guide the process in the right direction,” said Meutgeert.

Fellow partner Alexander van der Mark added, “MARI is one of the biggest projects in the harmonisation of the European electricity network in terms of the number of participating countries and TSOs. Due to the high number of stakeholders and the specific process being implemented the project carries significant complexity. We are delighted to be able to contribute to such a strategic transition.”