Reserves and balancing power

Fingrid's services: Reserve market
Do you want to watch the video?
Accept marketing cookies here and update the page.


We maintain and develop the marketplaces for reserve and balancing power.

Electricity production must be equal to electricity consumption at all times. The balance between production and consumption is indicated by the frequency of the electricity grid which has a nominal value of 50.0 Hz. The market operators plan and balance their consumption and production in advance, but in practice there are deviations during each hour. To balance these deviations, Fingrid procures different kinds of reserves from reserve markets. Reserves are power plants, consumption resources and energy storages which adjust their electric power according to the need of the power system.

Reserve obligations and procurement sources

In the joint Nordic system (Finland, Sweden, Norway and East Denmark), the obligations for maintaining reserves have been agreed in System Operation Agreement between the Nordic Transmission System Operators (TSOs).

Total of 600 MW of Frequency Containment Reserve for Normal operation (FCR-N) is constantly maintained for the frequency regulation of the normal state. Frequency Containment Reserve for Disturbances (FCR-D) is maintained to the extent that the steady state frequency deviation caused by any individual fault is not more than 0.5 Hz. The needed volume of the reserve in the Nordic power system depends on the greatest individual fault, and it is dimensioned separately for under- and overfrequency events. An underfrequency event can be caused by e.g. tripping of a large production unit or of a transmission line importing power to the Nordics. Correspondingly, an overfrequency event can be caused by e.g. tripping of a large consumption unit or of a transmission line exporting power from the Nordics. At most the needed volume equals 1450 MW upregulation for underfrequency events and 1400 MW downregulation for overfrequency events. The jointly maintained FCR-N and FCR-D are divided annually between the Nordic TSOs in relation to the total annual consumption and production in each country.

Fast Frequency Reserve (FFR) is procured to handle low inertia situations. Because the need for FFR is dependent on the inertia of the power system, it is only procured for some hours and the amount of reserve varies. The estimated amount of FFR in the Nordics is max. 300 MW.

It has been agreed that 300–400 MW of Automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR) is maintained in predefined morning, evening and night hours in the Nordic countries. The predefined procurement hours are announced on Fingrid's website.

Furthermore, each TSO maintains Manual Frequency Restoration Reserve (mFRR) to cover the dimensioning fault in its own area.

The TSO of each country procures its share of reserves as it considers best. In order to meet reserve obligations, trade can be done between countries. Part of reserves must be maintained nationally, so that the frequency can also be maintained in situations of island operation. In normal situation, a maximum of 1/3 of the obligations for frequency containment reserves can be purchased from other Nordic countries.

Fingrid's reserve obligations and procurement sources in 2022: 

Reserve product


Procurement channel

Maximum contracted capacity

Frequency Containment Reserve for Normal Operation (FCR-N)​

119 MW

Yearly market

Hourly market

Other Nordic countries



103 MW

194 MW


90 MW**

35 MW​***

Frequency Containment Reserve for Disturbances Upwards
(​FCR-D up)

about 290 MW

​Yearly market

Hourly market

Other Nordic countries

431 MW

​716 MW


Frequency Containment Reserve for Disturbances Downwards
(FCR-D down)*

92 MW

From 1.7.:
120 MW

Yearly market

Hourly market

Other Nordic countries

114 MW

151 MW


Fast Frequency Reserve (FFR)

about 0–60 MW

Hourly market


104 MW

50 MW

Automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR)

60–80 MW (certain hours of the day only)

​Hourly market






Manual Frequency Restoration Reserve (mFRR)

880–1300 MW

Balancing energy and balancing capacity markets

Fingrid's reserve power plants

Leasing reserve power plants



927 MW​


291 MW


* The procurement started in 2022 and volumes will be gradually increased.

** The procurement from Russia has been stopped for the time being.

*** A temporary increase to 50 MW is possible.

Covering of costs

Fingrid covers the maintenance costs of reserves with a grid network tariff and payments collected in balance services. The costs of the balancing power market are covered by imbalance power.



Reserve products

Reserves are divided into three groups based on their purpose:

  1. Frequency Containment Reserves (FCR) are used for the constant control of frequency.
  2. The purpose of Frequency Restoration Reserves (FRR) is to return the frequency to its normal range (49.9 - 50.1 Hz) and to release activated Frequency Containment Reserves back into use. 
  3. Replacement Reserves (RR) release activated Frequency Restoration Reserves back to a state of readiness in case of new disturbances. (Not used in the Nordic power system)


In addition, Fast Frequency Reserve is used in the Nordics since 2020. It contributes to frequency containment in low inertia situations.

Click to open the picture in a new window, if viewing with a mobile device.


Click here to watch a brief introduction to different reserve products
Do you want to watch the video?
Accept marketing cookies here and update the page.