Manually Activated Reserves Initiative (MARI)

In an electrical network, power generation and power consumption must be balanced. To ensure a stable frequency, there are many different balancing processes and products at play in the European electricity market. Magnus Energy supports in the MARI balancing project, one of the centralised European balancing platforms.

Centralised European balancing platforms

In an electrical network, power generation and power consumption must be balanced. Power imbalances lead to frequency deviations and unintended power flows. To ensure a stable frequency, there are many different balancing processes and products at play in the European electricity market. To establish and regulate the cross-border exchange of balancing energy within Europe, the European Commission created the Electricity Balancing Guideline (EBGL). Amongst many other requirements, EBGL stipulates the establishment of several centralised European balancing platforms by the European TSOs. This has resulted in the following projects: MARI (for mFRR), PICASSO (for aFRR), TERRE (for RR), IGCC (for IN) and lastly, voluntarily, the FCR project. The mandatory projects in particular are closely interlinked due to their similarities in set-up and process.

The MARI balancing project

The Manually Activated Reserve Initiative (MARI) project aimed to deliver the EBGL obligations relating to the Manual Frequency Restoration Reserve Implementation Framework (mFRR) platform. The MARI project received this mandate with the enforcement of the European Balancing Guidelines and the approval of the mFRR. MARI is further mandated to govern all cross-balancing platform issues, relating to PICASSO, IGCC and TERRE, and thereby faces significant complexity in terms of project and programme management.  

The mFRR platform provides the centralised European platform to match energy-balancing bids and demands with manual activation across international borders, thereby enabling the secure exchange of balancing energy across Europe and maximising economic surplus. 

The MARI project, and the centralised European mFRR platform, are delivered by 29 TSOs from 26 countries. It is one of the biggest projects in the harmonisation of the European electricity network in terms of the number of participating countries and TSOs. Besides the TSOs involved, the project also cooperates closely with the other European balancing projects and the many other relevant stakeholders involved in the integration of the European energy (balancing) market.

The platform was brought successfully into operation on 5 October 2022 with the accession of 5 TSOs. Further planned accessions are published in the MARI accession roadmap.

Our role

Magnus Energy provides complex program management services to the MARI project. MARI is a project with significant complexity, due to the high number of stakeholders and the specific process being implemented. Having been involved in the MARI project since 2019, our team has extensive knowledge of the history of the project, as well as the current and future activities at play.

Besides supporting the Steering Committee and the different working groups (Operational, Technical, Testing and Legal), as PMOs, we also actively support the cross-balancing project alignment. This entails aligning with the different European balancing projects and with other third parties involved in the balancing projects. We also support the budget management of both MARI and PICASSO, using the Magnus Energy budget management tool specifically developed for Europe’s energy integration projects and their often complex budgets. 

In the context of the high number of stakeholders and complexity of the project, we take an impartial position. Through securing strong project management and facilitating the multitude of deliverables, discussions and processes needed, Magnus Energy ensures the support required for the TSOs involved to successfully establish and implement the mFRR platform.


APG, Elia, HOPS, CEPS, Energinet, Elering, Fingrid, RTE, MAVIR, Amprion, 50hertz, TransnetBW, TenneT Germany, IPTO, Terna, AST, ELERING, Statnett, TenneT Netherlands, REN, PSE, Transelectrica, SEPS, ELES, Red Eléctrica, SVK, Swissgrid, Creos, ESO.

Industry Topics

Market Integration


PMO services, project management, stakeholder management 


Gertjan Meutgeert

Partner +31 85 7430519