The Coordinated Balancing Area (CoBA) is the concept developed within the framework of the Electricity Balancing Network Code (NC EB) and means a cooperation with respect to the Exchange of Balancing Services, Sharing of Reserves or operating the Imbalance Netting Process between two or more Transmission System Operators (TSOs).
The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) in its Recommendation No 03/2015 of 20 July 2015 on the Network Code on Electricity Balancing in principle refers to the same elements, but in the regulator's vision a CoBA is a region, in which the TSOs are exchanging Balancing Capacity, Sharing Reserves, exchanging Balancing Energy or operating the Imbalance Netting Process.
ENTSO-E supporting documentation elaborated at the stage of NC EB drafting process clarifies that NC EB introduces the concept of the Coordinated Balancing Area as a vehicle to reaching the European integration model in the required timeframes.
Every TSO is obliged to cooperate with two or more TSOs in a CoBA by exchanging one (or more) Standard Product(s) or through implementation of an Imbalance Netting Process.
As ENTSO-E further elaborates, the CoBA concept is central to the phased approach of reaching the targets of the Framework Guidelines on Electricity Balancing (FG EB). It provides for early cooperation between TSOs while allowing prudent flexibility.
TSOs as well as all Balancing Market parties will gain experience of how cooperation in Balancing can achieve the highest benefit. This experience then supports the further evolvement of a pan-European Balancing Market.
As time passes the level of cooperation within a CoBA and between neighbouring CoBAs will increase; neighbouring CoBAs will merge, and finally all CoBAs will merge to reach the target of a single pan-European Common Merit Order List.
While the exchange of one (or more) Standard Products is compulsory within a CoBA from the beginning, Exchange of Balancing Capacity and Sharing of Reserves are not mandatory but an option.
CoBAs for Balancing Capacity can be smaller than those for Balancing Energy (if established).
The NC EB stipulates that all activated Balancing Energy on the Common Merit Order List will be delivered in a firm way to the borders.
Each TSO should decide on their own in conjunction with the provisions within the NC EB whether additional incentives are required to make sure that the requested Balancing Energy situated in its Responsibility Area is correctly delivered by balancing service providers (BSPs).
There will be various CoBAs, the procurement processes might differ between them and may be applied in several ways.
The NC EB does not stipulate a harmonisation of the settlement rules/process across CoBAs.
The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) in its Recommendation No 03/2015 of 20 July 2015 on the Network Code on Electricity Balancing proposed certain amendments on CoBA functions.
ACER suggested that each task executed in CoBA has to be assigned to an entity that is appointed by all TSOs in a CoBA.
This requirement is needed to provide clarity, to ensure efficient functioning of balancing markets and to prevent that the decentralised options for operation of regional balancing markets.