TenneT proposes new rules for offshore connections

25.05.2017

Last year, new European network codes on “Requirements for Generators” (RfG) and “High Voltage Direct Current Connections” (HVDCC) have been published. These regulations affect present and future offshore grid connection projects of TSC member TenneT. Hence, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) began to implement the new regulations with regard to its own offshore network immediately.

In aligning the new provisions with the existing technical rules, TenneT could rely on its expertise and complex operating experience in the field of offshore grid connections. The TSO now has presented a first draft of new offshore grid connection rules (“Offshore-Netzanschlussregeln”, O-NAR). These rules describe the technical and organisational minimum requirements for the construction and operation of connections to the onshore transmission grid. The next step for TenneT is a comprehensive consultation process with a variety of stakeholders.

Wilfried Breuer, member of TenneT’s executive board and Director Offshore, explains that the TSO contributes to the optimisation of grid connection rules proactively – for the general benefit of all future offshore grid connections. “With the early publication of the O-NAR draft, TenneT intends to ensure cooperation and coordination with the potential subscribers to rapidly bring new technologies to market maturity and to accelerate future consultation processes,” concludes Mr Breuer.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html, with access to draft)

Picture: TenneT

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ACER annual conference in Slovenia

24.05.2017

This year’s annual conference by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) will be held under the title “REGIONS for the Internal Energy Market” and take place in Brdo Congress Centre near Kranj, Slovenia, on 29 June 2017. The registration for the event is possible as of now.

The Conference focuses on the “Clean Energy Package” of the European Commission and its impact on formal regional governance. Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union, will provide a keynote speech via a video connection live from Brussels.

> See ACER press release (html, with access to registration form)

Picture: JGZ Brdo

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SINCRO.GRID contract signed

23.05.2017

In February 2017, the Croatian-Slovenian smart grid project SINCRO.GRID was awarded €40.5m of EU fundings within the frame of the “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF) programme. The four-party consortium of SINCRO.GRID consists of the two TSC members ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO), and HOPS from Croatia, and two distribution system operators from both countries. Mag. Aleksander Mervar, director of project coordinator ELES, and Dirk Beckers, director of the European Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), now have signed a contract on the allocation of the corresponding subsidies in Brussels, Belgium.

SINCRO.GRID is a model case of good cross-border cooperation. Its purpose is to optimise the efficiency of the power transmission grid in both Croatia and Slovenia involving new advanced technologies and integrated advanced data processing methods. Due to significant electricity transit flows in the control areas of ELES and HOPS, the Project of Common Interest (PCI) is of high value for the pan-European energy market. Zdeslav Čerina, Member of the HOPS Management Board, feels confident that SINCRO.GRID will ensure “more efficient integration of renewable energy sources into the power system and increase the supply security”.

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

Picture: ELES/HOPS

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ENTSO-E paying a visit

22.05.2017

All the TSC member companies and all of TSCNET Services’ clients are members of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, ENTSO-E. It’s not surprising that ENTSO-E is one of our most important cooperation partners. Last week, two ENTSO-E representatives made a visit at our premises in Munich to discuss current and future projects: Laurent Schmitt, Secretary-General, and Sonya Twohig, Manager System Operations.

The guests from Brussels, Belgium, were welcomed by Siem Bruijns, TSCNET’s Managing Director, and three other members of our Management Team. An introduction to TSC and TSCNET Services was followed by a guided tour including demonstrations of some of our key services and tasks by our experts: An IntraDay Operational Planning Teleconference (IDOPT), several Data Analysis and Visualisation Tools, and discussions on Multilateral Remedial Actions (MRAs).

The ENTSO-E visit provided a great opportunity to discuss the roles, responsibilities, and challenges of Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) in general and to share the visions on the near future. This will also be the focus of the industry’s next big thing, the Conference on Electricity Security Coordination on the 17th of October in Munich – organised by TSCNET Services and ENTSO-E together.

> See ElSeC 2017 web page (html)
> See ENTSO-E website (html)

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TenneT offers virtual experiences

18.05.2017

The controlling of live data streams or the planning of routes for new transmission lines – these are two operations, the visitors of “TenneT Virtual Vision” now may virtually trie for themselves. On the occasion of the traditional spring reception at the German capital representation of TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), the “TenneT Virtual Vision” showroom was ceremoniously opened on 16 May in the Friedrichstraße, in the very heart of Berlin.

The new multimedial world of experience on 260 square metre is TenneT’s approach to enter into a dialogue on the future framework of the energy transition with all social groups at regional, national and European level. Interested parties find answers to questions like: What tasks and challenges must a European TSO accomplish and what part does TenneT play in the energy transition? What so far could be explained theoretically, now also turns into a close-up sensual experience by means of mixed reality installations and state-of-the-art augmented reality technologies. Besides using multimedia information points, the virtual grid control centre, or motion graphic installations, visitors can also undertake a virtual helicopter journey to the HelWin alpha converter platform in the North Sea and experience how enormous quantities of electricity from offshore wind farms are converted to direct current.

Dr. Urban Keussen and Lex Hartman, managing directors of TenneT TSO GmbH, led the opening event. Mr. Hartmann explained that “TenneT Virtual Vision” offers the opportunity to give “stakeholders insights into our business, which otherwise are hardly to obtain”. Dr. Keussen complemented: “We also want to highlight important development trajectories for the future: the increased use of data to better predict production and consumption and to develop decentralised flexibility to stabilise our power grids.”

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)
> Visit TenneT Virtual Vision website (html)

Picture: TenneT

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CIGRE colloquium in Pula

16.05.2017

“Transformer Research and Asset Management” was the topic of the 4th international colloquium by the Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE). The event took place from 10 to 12 May in Pula, the largest city in Istria county in Croatia, and was organised by the CIGRE National Committee of Croatia.

225 experts from 25 countries participated in the colloquium, dealing with such issues as numerical modeling, transformer life time management or materials, components and new technologies. Dr. sc. Miroslav Mesić, President of the Management Board of TSC member HOPS, the Croation transmission system operator (TSO), emphasised in his introductory address the high significance of effective transformers as “one of the most important components in the power system”.

> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)

Picture: HOPS

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ACER calls for market integration of the renewables

12.05.2017

Yesterday, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) presented a “White Paper on Renewables in the Wholesale Market” in cooperation with national regulatory authorities in the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER). In order to expedite the integration of renewable energy sources (RES) into the market, the regulators suggest three changes in the Clean Energy proposals by the European Commission: Removing the priority dispatch for existing RES plants, avoiding non-market approach to redispatch and RES curtailment, and avoiding net metering to ensure fair share of network and system costs.

As regards the European transmission system operators (TSOs), ACER and CEER hold the opinion that TSOs should perform market-based curtailments instead of source- or technology-based approaches. According to Lord Mogg, Chair of ACER Board of Regulators and CEER President, the suggested measures would help the renewables’ integration to be “fair and cost-efficient and without cross subsidisation between renewable self-generators and other consumers”.

> See ACER press release (html, with access to White Paper)

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ELES launches Strategic Innovation Sector

05.05.2017

The growing share of the renewables in the European energy system substantially affects the corporate tasks of transmission system operators (TSOs) and is calling for innovative solutions. Hence, grid operation, grid investments and grid assets management is no longer conceivable without sustained commitment to all questions concerning strategic innovation.

Over the last years, TSC members ELES, the Slovenian TSO, has proven to be a leading European player in terms of strategic innovation. ELES participates with great dedication in innovative energy and smart grid key projects on a European Community level such as NEDO, SINCRO.GRID, FutureFlow, SUMO and MIGRATE. To enforce and to bundle the company’s engagement in strategic innovation, mag. Aleksander Mervar, Director of ELES, has introduced a particularly designed Strategic Innovation Sector. The appointed Director of this challenging new company division is Mag. Uroš Salobir.

> See ELES press release (html)

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Implementing network codes for the Energy Union

04.05.2017

Congestions in cross-border energy exchange, lack of interconnectors, competition, and transparency: These are severe obstacles on the way to a European Energy Union. To overcome these barriers – and to achieve fair prices and more choices for customers – the European Commision, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), the European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) developed the network codes. These codes are regulations to facilitate the integration and coordination of European energy markets and systems. They are scheduled to be adopted in late 2017.

Today, a conference on the network codes was held in Brussels, Belgium. In close cooperation with the European Commision, the event was co-organised by ENTSO-E, ACER, and ENTSOG. The conference gave the various parties and stakeholders the opportunity to join forces on the implementation of the network codes. While it is ENTSO-E’s task to ensure cooperation among transmission system operators (TSOs) on a pan-European level, ACER provides coordination of national authorities in terms of regulation and legislation.

Powerful instruments
Alberto Pototschnig, Director of ACER, is pleased that the codes are now being implemented by national regulatory authorities. And they are paying off as early as now: “In the electricity sector, market coupling is already providing benefits in the order of €1bn per year.” Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General of ENTSO-E, emphasises the increasing need for flexible services in times of the energy transition. In this matter, “network codes have proven to be powerful instruments in tackling market and renewables integration”.

As the Regional Service Coordinators (RSCs) play an important part in the implementation of the network codes, TSCNET Services has participated in the conference, too. “All staff looks forward to taking up these important tasks together with ENTSO-E and the other RSCs,” says Daan Belgers, Head of Finance & Organisation at TSCNET Services.

> See ACER press release (html)
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> See European Commision streaming service (html)

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Revised German Network Developement Plans

03.05.2017

In late January 2017, the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) and TSC members 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW submitted the first draft 2017 versions of the national German Network Developement Plan for Electricity 2030 (Netzentwicklungsplan Strom – NEP) and the Offshore-Network Developement Plan 2030 (Offshore-Netzentwicklungsplan – O-NEP) to the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), the competent German authority in terms of grid extension. Subsequently, the four TSOs opened a month-long public consultation, and now the second versions of the two respective plans have been presented.

The TSOs received more than 2,100 statements altogether, and they all have been considered thoroughly for the conception of the revised versions of NEP and O-NEP. Next to general comments on the requirements of grid extension, questions arising from regional concern played an important role in the consultation, especially aspects of the routing of new power lines. However, the overall goal of NEP and O-NEP remains unchanged: The growing gap between the electricity consumption centres in the industrially highly developed south of Germany and the regions of sustainable electricity production in the north has to be bridged by means of extension of the transmission grid.

According to the revised NEP and depending on the respective scenario, grid reinforcement measures affect 7,600 to 8,500km of already existing lines. The overall length of projected new lines now amounts to 3,600km and is thus slightly below the plans of the first design (3,800km). This also applies to the expected total investment costs for NEP (€32bn – €34bn depending on the scenario), which are also slightly below the first draft (€34bn – €36bn). Conversely, the overall investments for O-NEP are a little bit higher in the second version (€17bn – €24bn) than in the first (€16bn – €22bn). The plannings for O-NEP regarding additional transmission capacity are unaltered in the new plan and still figure on 7.4GW (target year 2030) and 11.4GW (target year 2035).

> See 50Hertz press release, in German (html)
> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
> See TenneT press release, in German (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)
> See joint TSO-website for the Network Development Plan, in German

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