France's power grid operator RTE said it intended to return more than 1 billion euros ($961 million) to its clients at the start of 2023, a total matching this year's revenue windfalls prompted by tensions on the electricity market.
European energy future and spot prices soared over the summer over worries about gas supplies following reduced flows from Russia in the wake of Western sanctions, and also over a historically low French nuclear output.
Those windfalls were, amongst others, generated by the access fees importers and exporters of electricity pay for the use of the cross-border interconnections operated by RTE, which is 50.1% owned by the French state-owned power utility EDF.
The price of those fees vary according both to the volumes exchanged at those interconnections and to the gap of electricity prices between France and its neighbours.
"Our net surplus (...) clearly exceeds one billion euros. We'll know the exact figure once the year is over but we're more likely anticipating 1.5 billion euros or more," Laurent Martel, RTE's executive director responsible for finance and purchasing, told journalists.
RTE has four different types of clients - power producers which include the likes of EDF, Engie and Uniper, and also industrial consumers, power suppliers and power traders.
($1 = 1.0406 euros)