Black start capability is the capability of recovery of a power generating module from a total shutdown through a dedicated auxiliary power source without any electrical energy supply external to the power generating facility (Article 2(45) of the Network Code on requirements for grid connection of generators (NC RfG)).
According to Articles 44 and 46 of the Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2196 of 24 November 2017 establishing a network code on electricity emergency and restoration (NC ER):
- each restoration service provider which is a power generating module delivering black start service must execute a black start capability test, at least every three years;
- each restoration service provider which is an HVDC system delivering a black start service must execute a black start capability test, at least every three years.
ACER 3rd edition NC RfG implementation monitoring report 2020, 10 December 2020, p. 22
Black start capabilities
Pursuant to Article 15(5)(a)(i) of the NC RfG, black start capability is not mandatory without prejudice to the MS’s right to introduce relevant obligatory rules in order to ensure system security. Hence, the Agency asked the NRAs whether the MS exercised its right to include black start capability as a mandatory requirement for relevant PGMs to comply with.
Among the 25 NRAs that answered this question, only four NRAs (HEA (HU), ARERA (IT), PUC (LV) and RONI (SK)) made the provision of black start a mandatory capability to comply with. The remaining NRAs declared that the MS did not exercise its right to introduce such obligatory rule in order to ensure system security.
According to the national operational code approved by HEA (HU), black start capabilities are mandatory for power plants above 500 MW (except for nuclear power plants). ARERA (IT) referred to Annexes A.10 and A.19 of the national network code, where the technical requirements of the power plants/groups with black-start capability and the methods for providing the service, as well as the service test methods, are described.
Similarly, PUC (LV) refers to the Annex 7 of the national network code where it is possible to find detailed requirements for type C and type D PGMs in the context of black start capability. Finally, RONI (SK) requested mandatory provision of black start capability only to those PGMs for which this modality is possible, in accordance with Article 15(5)(a)(iii).