SuedLink subsidised by European Commission

22.02.2017

The SuedLink power line is one of the key projects of the energy transition in Germany. The extra-high voltage line is destined to transfer electricity from Schleswig-Holstein in the very north of Germany – where large amounts of wind energy are being produced – to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in the country’s industrially highly developed and energy consuming south. SuedLink is a cooperation of two TSC members: The Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT and TransnetBW, the TSO from the southwest of Germany. The European Commission selected SuedLink as one of eighteen European energy projects of common interest in the frame of the “Connecting Europe Facility” programme and supports the power line with €40m.

The Commission emphasised in its funding decision the significance of SuedLink as the first infrastructure project of its kind with such dimensions: A DC line with a length of 700km to be realised for the most part by means of underground cables. Moreover, the Commission highlighted the importance of SuedLink for the increase of electrical transmission capacities and the integration of the renewables in Germany.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

Picture: Screenshot taken from video “TenneT SuedLink: Erdkabelverlegung bei der Anbindung von Offshore-Windparks” (TenneT, YouTube)

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TenneT SuedLink

Inspired by “Science of Control” – new IT Application Manager

22.02.2017

A strength of working together as a team is that each team member brings with them different knowledge, strengths and ideas. Tetiana Voloshyna has been hired as IT Application Manager within TSCNET’s Team IT Services and Development Team. Amongst other skills, she adds a master’s degree and doctoral studies in: Economic Cybernetics. Sounds interesting – but what does that do for power transmission grid security? A whole lot! If you ask Wikipedia, cybernetics is “a transdisciplinary approach for exploring regulatory systems” and is used as a term to imply “control of any system using technology”. Plus doing that economically, meaning: using little money, time, etc. Bull’s eye! That’s exactly how one could describe what our customers and we at TSCNET Services are working for.

Tetiana was born and raised in Ukraine, and has built her career on working as a system analyst in a bank project, implementing a Teradata Data Warehouse appliance as a database analyst, and performing analytical and architectural IT duties in energy projects in Ukraine and the Netherlands in the past two years. “I am highly confident that the combination of Tetiana’s strong IT background with business knowledge will bring added value to our company and our customers,” says Cristian Bordeanu, Head of Team IT Services and Development.

Tetiana herself is enthusiastic about her new role which opens the door to different projects for the energy system in all of continental Europe. “I consider this position another step in my chain of roles carrying more and more responsibility”, she says. “I am very passionate about the work I do and I want to be really proud of the results,” Tetiana adds. The “Science of Control” paves the way greatly.

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Tetiana Voloshyna at TSCNET

Cost-effective balancing in Austria

21.02.2017

The assiduous efforts undertaken by TSC member APG, the Austrian transmission system operator (TSO), to optimise control reserve are paying off. Since 2015, the costs for stabilising the Austrian electricity grid are decreasing significantly, and with €90m spent on control resrve in the last year, APG is able to announce a cost reduction of 37% in comparison to 2015.

The causes of this beneficial development are twofold. On a national level, several new suppliers have joined the balancing market. “The new participants in the regulatory energy market contributed to significantly more competition in this market”, explains Ulrike Baumgartner-Gabitzer, Chief Executive Officer at APG. Internationally – apart from individual agreements with neighbouring countries – APG participates in the largest European transnational cooperation on the procuration and exchange of Frequency Containment Reserve. Also of particular importance is APG’s cross-border cooperation for automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve with the four German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW. “This means that Austria is actively involved in all relevant projects and is even an initiator,” complements Thomas Karall, APG’s Chief Financial Officer.

> See APG press release, in German (html)

Picture: Lukas Dostal / Austrian Power Grid AG (APG Control Centre)

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APG control centre

Core CCR expedites market integration

21.02.2017

A total of sixteen central European transmission system operators (TSOs) cooperates in creating a European core capacity calculation region (CCR). This considerable high number of participants results in a Core CCR covering the largest part of central continental Europe. Among the associated TSOs are ten TSC members: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), ELES (Slovenia), HOPS (Croatia), MAVIR (Hungary), PSE (Poland), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany, 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW.

CCRs are conceived as geographical areas in which coordinate cross-border capacity calculation, capacity allocation and congestion management is applied. With their CCR cooperation, the TSOs follow a decision by the European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) from November 2016 on merging regional coordinations to an enlarged European core region in order to promote the integration of Europe’s energy markets.

The fulfillment of CCR-related obligations in accordance to the respective European Commission Network Codes implies that the TSOs are committed to the developement of common methodologies for three principal tasks: day-ahead flow-based capacity calculation of cross-border transmission, capacity calculation for intraday and long-term time-frames, and the coordination of redispatching and countertrading to minimise congestions. Common methodologies in these fields will ease cross-border trade and optimise transmission capacities without endangering the security of supply.

> See ČEPS press release (html)
> See TenneT press release (html)
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Visit Core CCR project page (html)

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European core capacity calculation region (CCR)

SINCRO.GRID awarded as European key project

20.02.2017

Within the frame of the “Connecting Europe Facility” programme, the EU invests €444m in key energy infrastructure. On 17 February 2017, the member states approved to the European Commission’s proposals on how to invest that large amount of money beneficially. Among the eighteen projects selected for funding is the smart grid project SINCRO.GRID destined to lead to a more efficient use of the electricity transmission grid in both Croatia and Slovenia. The EU supports SINCRO.GRID with €40m.

The two TSC members ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO), and HOPS from Croatia participate in SINCRO.GRID. Two distribution system operators from Croatia and Slovenia respectively supplement the consortium. Since Croatia and Slovenia are central to the European electricity transmission system, the respective national TSOs host significant east-west electricity transit flows. The increase in renewables in the south-east European region will further enhance such transit. Both TSOs acknowledge their responsibility in ensuring supra-regional system security and therefore are taking actions to contribute to the European targets for a not only a secure, but also a sustainable and efficient future energy system.

SINCRO.GRID involves innovative systemic approaches in order to solve short term operational security issues affecting Slovenia, Croatia and whole south-east Europe. Synergy effects enable ELES and HOPS to manage the additional renewable energy with the current infrastructure. The result is a secure energy supply without the need of building new overhead lines.

> See ELES press release (html)
> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)
> Visit SINCRO.GRID website (html)

Picture based on a SINCRO.GRID illustration

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SINCRO.GRID Eles HOPS

Modernisation of Pleinting substation

16.02.2017

Currently, TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), modernises several of its substations. In doing so, the TSO improves the coupling of regional electricity grids to TenneT’s trans-regional transmission system and pursues three main targets: Meeting the challenges of the energy transition, ensuring grid stability, and enhancing the supply security.

One of those upgrade projects is the substation Pleinting in Lower Bavaria, near Passau and close to the Austrian-German border. The Pleinting substation is of significance for the cross-border electricity exchange, in particular for the linking of Austrian pump storage power plants to the German grid. For this reason, also the overhead power line from Pleinting to the Austrian substation St. Peter am Hart is presently being overhauled. These reconstruction works will probably be finished by April, while the modernisation of the substation is scheduled to last til 2020.

Since transformers are the centrepiece of any substation, the upgrade of Pleinting involves a complete new set of such devices. Today a direct coupling transformer weighing 260t is arriving at Pleinting by means of heavy-duty transport. The assembly of the new machine built by GE Grid Solutions will take up to three month and two more transformers are expected to be delivered until 2018.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: TenneT

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TenneT transformer

Hire and aspire – Jakub’s comings and goings

15.02.2017

It’s a temptation that many managers give in to: Recruiting an employee from a supplier can mean bringing on someone who already knows your company and your business. But: It’s not a nice way. Usually. With Jakub Malý, things were different. The Czech software engineer joined our company in summer 2013 as Analyst IT Development, coming from Unicorn, one of our most important partners and our main IT vendor for many years. That was of great mutual benefit and helped binding together all the people involved in TSCNET’s IT, which was and is the absolute bedrock of all the services for our customers.

More than three years later, Jakub now is leaving TSCNET as IT Project Manager – to look for new professional challenges and to start at Unicorn in Czechia again. “I worked on the most interesting projects for the transmission grid in Europe and gained loads of experience”, he explains. It’s not surprising that his farewell is characterised by the joyful anticipation of working together again. “I hope to maintain the great relations with my co-workers in Munich – from now on as their supplier,” says Jakub. He leaves behind a motivational message to his former team: “Keep up the unique spirit of TSCNET, and to stay focused on aiming at being the best-in-class service provider.” You can bet he will contribute his mite again.

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Jakub Maly, TSCNET Services

Approval to finish Nant de Drance connection

14.02.2017

In late 2016, the Swiss Federal Inspectorate for Heavy Current Installations (“Eidgenössisches Starkstrominspektorat”, ESTI) has approved the construction plans for the final section of the grid connection of the Nant de Drance pump storage power plant as submitted by TSC member Swissgrid, the Swiss transmission system operator (TSO). Hence, all building permits for the connection of the plant in the Swiss Canton Valais near the French border to the Swiss transmission system have been granted and the implementation of the complete project now can proceed as scheduled.

Swissgrid originally intended to realise the last 1.3km from the La Bâtiaz substation to Le Verney, the connecting point to an already existing 380kV extra-high voltage line, as overhead line. According to revised plans, the Rhône valley between La Bâtiaz and Le Verney will now be crossed by means of an underground cable laid at a depth of 25 to 30 metres. Currently, Swissgrid is elaborating the technical details of this deep cable solution. The TSO will make those details known to the public once the planning and tender procedures are completed.

> See Swissgrid press release (html)

Picture: Screenshot taken from video “Nant de Drance – Höchstspannungsnetz” (Swissgrid, YouTube)

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Swissgrid on Nant de Drance

“Mega ‘power outlets'” for Borssele

12.02.2017

Major and ambitious goals are being pursued by TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), with the grid connection of the Borssele offshore wind area in the Dutch part of the North Sea. The Borssele grid connection comprises two platforms (Borssele Alpha and Borssele Beta) – both providing 700MW of electricity generated by two wind turbine sites – and two submarine cables transporting the electricity to the Borssele onshore substation. It is the first large-scale grid connection to be realised under the Dutch National Energy Agreement for offshore wind farms.

Now TenneT has awarded the first contract for the construction of the Borssele Alpha transformer station to HSM Offshore. The Dutch specialised company is also the intended partner for Borssele Beta. The contract covers the engineering, construction, transport, installation, connection and testing of the offshore transformer station.

> See TenneT press release (html)

Picture: TenneT

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Borssele grid connection

German TSOs on implementing GLDPM

12.02.2017

The Generation and Load Data Provision Methodology (GLDPM) of the European transmission system operators (TSOs) is a key element for meeting the EU-specifications on capacity calculation and for implementing the Common Grid Model which is part of the EU Commission regulation on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM guideline, Commision Regulation 2015/1222). The purpose of GLDPM is to establish a uniform and standardised method of collecting production and load data of the amount of electricity traded on the day ahead and intraday markets.

After the competent national regulatory authorities had approved the GLDPM without modifications in January, the four German TSOs and TSC members 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW introduced their suggestions for the implementation of the GLDPM in Germany on 10 February. All parties concerned are invited to comment on the TSO suggestions until 7 April. With this consultation, the four TSOs are striving for the most efficient implementation of the GLDPM in close cooperation with the affected market participants. In the course of two workshops on 26 April and 27 April respectively, the German operators will present their joint assessment of the comments. The legal deadline for the full implementation of the GLDPM is 11 January 2018.

> Open joint press release on GLDPM, in German (pdf, 114kb)

Picture: Screenshot taken from video “EU Common Grid Model” (ENTSO-E, YouTube)

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Generation and Load Data Provision Methodology