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Exchange metering information of Elia through FTP or ECP?

Why is Elia proposing 2 different protocols and what are the advantages of both protocols

What is FTP and ECP? (1/2) Abbreviations: FTP = File Transfer Protocol ECP = Energy Communication Platform Both are software applications that are used to exchange electronic documents between 2 computers FTP is an old and well known protocol that is used very often for exchanging files. ECP is a new protocol proposed by the European System Operators in order to harmonize the exchange of electronic documents in the European Electricity Market in a more reliable way 2


What is FTP and ECP? (2/2)

ECP (as FTP) is not dealing with the content of the message. It is only a software for electronic data exchange. But it is more reliable and it offers more services. ENTSO-E has developed a standard “MADES� based on ECP V2.1. ( ) Market actors or IT vendors can use the standard to develop a software or they can download the ECP package. The ECP package contains 2 parts: a server and a client part. The client part can be downloaded free of charge and can be used for communication between TSOs and the Market Actors. ECP V2.1 is a product, developped by Unicorn, but owned by different TSOs. Transfer of ownership to ENTSO-E is planned. ECP 3.0 will be compliant to MADES. 3


Difference between FTP and ECP FTP = File transfert protocol

ECP = Energy communication protocol

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Existing and well known protocol Widely used Security is possible (SFTP) but no standard. Not harmonized. A lot of different versions exist. Limited number of “services”


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New software package, harmonized and developped by different TSOs Uses modern technology: webservices Offers more services than FTP: more reliable transmission of data, proof of delivery of data, encription, signing,…

Advantages of ECP for Market Actors, active in the international Energy Market The goal of ECP was to create an harmonized solution for electronic document exchange in all TSO areas. This will create a “single face towards the market� for all the Market Actors for electronic data exchange. Only 1 installation of ECP will allow you to exchange data with every TSO in Europe. (as soon as the TSOs have installed the software) ECP is already used by 13 Transmission Systems Operators, but only for TSO-TSO communication at this moment. Elia is the first TSO in Europe that launches this software for datacommunication with the Market Actors.



Advantages of ECP for all the Market Actors, included the local actors. ECP can be used in a manual way (as FTP for copying information) or in an automatic way (B2B data exchange) ECP (compaired to FTP) can be connected to your applications in a more easy way than FTP. ECP uses “webservices”. ECP contains more services than FTP: (in FTP your application has to solve these services itself) • Reliable data exchange: monitoring when the messages have been sent and have been delivered to the destination • Confidential data exchange via internet: encription and signing of messages (PKI infrastructure) • Data compression of messages, compatible with the tools of EFET (European Federation of Energy Traders) • Installation package facilitates the installation. • Both FTP and ECP can be used in parrallel. You can start with FTP and install ECP later on.



Conclusion ECP runs already since 1 year between different TSOs, power exchanges and CASC without interruption. It is more reliable than FTP. ECP contains more services than FTP and is easier to integrate in an automatic way. ECP will be supported by different TSOs. Elia is providing support for installing the package. Elia will use this package for all the future business processes. So it can be reused (without the need to reinstall) in case of development of a new business process. This will increase also the “time to market� for future business processes. 7



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