Transmission and distribution for a secure, reliable supply
EDF transmission and distribution grids bring electricity to consumers, at the same time as balancing supply with demand. Achieving this balance guarantees that customers receive supplies of competitively priced electricity securely and reliably. Two EDF Group companies share this task: RTE (Réseau de Transport d'Electricité) carries high-voltage and very high-voltage supplies, and ERDF(1) distributes medium-voltage and low-voltage electricity to end-user consumers.
Balancing the electricity supply system
The role of RTE is to manage flows and ensure that supply balances demand.
As the Group's transmission grid operator, RTE guides electricity flows by managing 100,000 km of high-voltage and very high-voltage circuits to optimise the supply of power
RTE carries electricity from generating plants to major industrial facilities and the distribution grids that supply consumers
RTE also acts as the interconnector with the power grids of neighbouring countries through 46 cross-border power lines, contributing to overall security of supply and efficient operation of the European power supply system
Transmission engineering services and the operation of non-RTE electricity systems are coordinated by the Transmission System Engineering Centre (CIST). In mainland France, CIST manages grid connections and their associated facilities. There expertise is also recognized internationally, and they are currently present in 33 countries, engineering EDF transmission networks and assisting clients with their optimisation problems and developing their electricity grids.
The network and electrical system work well only because of this vital equilibrium
Delivering assured distribution continuity and quality for all customers
ERDF manages the distribution grid that delivers the electricity sold by all energy providers to 35 million residential, company and local authority customers.
ERDF (Electricité Réseau Distribution France) is the concession holder of a grid owned by local authorities. As such, it operates and maintains 618,000 km of low-voltage power lines and 697,000 km of high-voltage power lines
In delivering its public service mission, ERDF must not only provide guaranteed continuity and quality for 1.3 million kilometres of power lines, but also ensure non-discriminatory access to electricity
Adapting grids to the needs of the energy transition
In responding to today's game-changing upheavals in energy generation and consumption methods, RTE and ERDF are now preparing for the future of electricity transmission and distribution by adopting smart grids.
In 2020, France will have a million of wind and photovoltaic energy producers
The dramatic increase in the number of renewable energy generators and the emergence of generator customers are together changing the electricity supply landscape dramatically: by 2020, France will have more than a million generators of solar photovoltaic and wind power. The second challenge is the equally dramatic increase in the number of uses for electricity, with France expected to have 2 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020
Accommodating new parameters like these requires smart grids to improve the measurement, monitoring and optimisation of electricity transmission and distribution. These grids will have the ability to match supply very precisely to demand. Working alongside its partners, EDF contributes to the development of smart grids at local level
At the customer end of the supply system, smart meters will interface with smart grids to manage individual consumption more simply, more accurately and more efficiently. ERDF expects to install three million smart meters by 2016. By 2020, every home will have one, helping 35 million users
By anticipating evolutionary changes in electricity supply systems, RTE and ERDF are already adapting their grids to the new demands imposed by the energy transition.
(1) EDF produces and sells electricity. It provides its customers with an energy offer, through a contract. ERDF distributes electricity, wich means it dispatches it to the final customers. As such, ERDF runs, manages and maintains the French power lines network through wich electricity passes.