Welcome, Stoyan! Experienced enthusiast for data


At TSCNET Services, we are proud of our international team of people who have come ‒ in most cases most literally ‒ a long way to bring their skills to the service of our customers. Such as Stoyan Velev, whom we welcomed in May as the new Business Intelligence & Data Scientist in our Service Operations team. Originating from the southwest of Bulgaria, Stoyan moved as far as to the Baltic coast in the northeast of Germany, where he received his master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences, Technology, Business and Design in Wismar. Later, his education was complemented by certification as a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programmer and database developer.

What his work is about is not so easy to describe. A Bulgarian proverb sums it up quite well: “It is good to fish in streaming water.” The vast amount of data in our company can almost be understood as wildly thundering waters. This makes it even more important to filter out the relevant data and process them optimally. Next to the maintenance and advancement of TSCNET’s central database, Stoyan’s core tasks include data visualisation and the creation of reports.

Stoyan enriches our team with a load of practical experience in the field of data analysis and as designer of analytic and reporting systems as well as complex calculation models. As a European regional security coordinator (RSC) serving transmission system operators (TSOs), it is particularly valuable for TSCNET Services that Stoyan brings relevant expertise from the electricity retail market, too. What stands out from Stoyan‘s experience is his enthusiasm for programming, data processing and reports. “This means truly professional and meaningful reports that accurately reflect the company’s as well as the customers’ activities and really support decision-making,” says Stoyan. With this personal verve, Stoyan is committed to providing real value to TSO customers. We are happy to report!

Stoyan Velev, employee of TSCNET Services since the beginning of May 2018

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Building permit for new TenneT power line


High capacity transport of wind power from the north of Germany to the consumption centres in the south and west, protection of the environment and participation of the citizens in the decision-making processes ‒ the energy transition has given the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) major tasks. TSCNET shareholder TenneT is therefore anxious to sustainably expand its transmission grid in the interest of electricity consumers and in harmony with nature and the population concerned.

The Dutch-German TSO now has received the green light for an important new construction project in the federal state of Lower Saxony: a 30km long power line from Wilhelmshaven on the German North Sea coast to the Conneforde substation in Ammerland. 5.3km of the 380kV line will be realised by underground cabling. The start of construction is scheduled for autumn 2018, and also the substation in Wilhelmshaven is yet to be built.

In his comment on the building permit, Lex Hartman, member of TenneT’s executive board, identifies the new line not only as another “important milestone for the future supply security in Lower Saxony”, but also as necessary for the connection of the regional wind-rich areas to TenneT’s supraregional transmission system. Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony’s Minister for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection, adds: “The new power line Wilhelmshaven-Conneforde is a sustainable investment in the future and a further important project for the energy transition in Lower Saxony.“

TSCNET shareholder TenneT receives building permit for the powerline project Wilhelmshaven-Conneforde. Illustration using a map/visualisation by TenneT.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

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Coupling of electricity and gas infrastructures


To achieve climate targets, the German government has introduced a quota for the share of renewable energies in total electricity generation of 65% by 2030. Without cross-sectoral innovation and cooperation, this will be extremely difficult to achieve. Power to gas (PtG) technologies offer new opportunities to realise a low-carbon energy future and meet legal requirements. That is why TSCNET shareholder Amprion, one the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) for electricity, and Open Grid Europe (OGE), a German TSO for natural gas with a large gas transmission system, have decided to jointly propel smart sector coupling involving PtG facilities.

On 20 June, the two TSOs presented their cooperation on a joint press conference in the German capital of Berlin. Both companies believe that seasonal energy storage concepts are a vital response to the volatility of the renewables. The most economically efficient solution for this is PtG when utilising the existing gas infrastructure. Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte, Chief Technical Officer at Amprion, comments on the PtG initiative: “The use of this technique on an industrial scale has not yet been proven in practice. However, this will be all the more necessary in the years to come.”

PtG technology is capable of converting renewable electricity into hydrogen or synthetic methane, so that the current gas infrastructure can be used additionally for the transport and storage of renewable energies. As TSOs, Amprion and OGE are ready to test PtG on an industrial scale and thereby make a significant contribution to a successful energy transition. “Our common goal is to beneficially couple our respective infrastructures,” explains Dr. Hans-Jürgen Brick, Amprion’s Chief Commercial and Financial Officer. The ambitious vision is “to have the option of large-scale storage systems from 2030 onwards”.

From left to right: Stephan Kamphues, Dr. Hans-Jürgen Brick and Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte (Picture: Open Grid Europe GmbH)

> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
> See OGE press release (html)

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DA/RE initiative for grid security


Today’s energy system is increasingly characterised by decentralised power production and volatile feed-in of electricity. This substantially affects the operation of the electricity grids and poses additional challenges for those who control them: the transmission system operators (TSOs) and the distribution system operators (DSOs). TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, one of the four German TSOs, wants to explore innovative and cooperative approaches in order to make the grid and data flows smarter and thus ensure constant network security also in the new energy landscape.

Together with the southwest German DSO Netze BW, TransnetBW has launched an initiative that pursues two main targets: an efficient data exchange for grid security planning and coordinated redispatch performances on all grid levels. For this purpose, a digital platform is used that is accessible to all involved: TSOs, DSOs as well as plant operators. This open and integrated approach enables the use of plants and systems at distribution level for grid stabilisation measures at all levels. Via the platform, more facilities can be made available for redispatching which increases grid security.

The name of the new initiative derives directly from its purpose: DA/RE stands for “DAta exchange / REdispatch”, and at the same time it has to be understood literally: The DA/RE-partners are ready to take new and little trodden paths. Dr. Werner Götz, Chairman of the TransnetBW executive board, explains: “We no longer think of system security and system responsibility in the usual horizontal and exclusive TSO view, but across all network levels.” Preceded by a pilot phase from 2019, the initiators plan to implement the platform solution in 2021.

TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, one of the four German TSOs, launches DA/RE initiative for grid security together with German DSO NetzeBW.

> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

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XBID successfully launched


After several years of complex and intensive development and testing, the Cross-Border Intraday (XBID) solution and ten XBID related Local Implementation Projects (LIPs) were finally initiated on 12 June, with first deliveries on 13 June. In order to create a single integrated European intraday market, several Nominated Electricity Market Operators (NEMOs) and nearly twenty transmission system operators (TSOs) from all over Europe collaborate in the XBID initiative. Among the TSOs are the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, Energinet, TenneT, and TransnetBW, as well as TSCNET client Creos from Luxembourg.

With a common IT system consisting of one shared order book, a capacity management module, and a shipping module, XBID bundles the whole European intraday continuous market and complements the existing day ahead market. From now on, continuous trading of electricity is possible across the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Most of the other European countries are to follow in a second XBID-wave in 2019.

The XBID solution for creating a single integrated European cross-border intraday electricity market was succesfully launched.

> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
> See APG press release, in German (html)
> See Energinet press release (html)
> See TenneT press release (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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Dutch-British WindConnector


The idea of integrating electricity markets by means of connecting the electrical infrastructure of offshore wind farms is anything but new to TSCNET shareholder TenneT. The Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) has been researching the potential of interconnected offshore wind facilities for quite some time, most prominently in shape of the North Sea Wind Power Hub concept. Together with the Swedish energy group Vattenfall, which is also operating in the UK, TenneT has launched another offshore interconnection project, the WindConnector. In concrete terms, the WindConnector is destined to link a substation in the designated Dutch offshore wind area IJmuiden Ver to one of Vattenfall’s substations in British waters.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly conduct a study on the technical feasibility, the regulatory challenges, and the benefits of such an offshore interconnector. The anticipated benefits to be confirmed by the study are: Enabling increased electricity trading between the Dutch and British markets, multiple and thus more efficient use of the offshore transmission infrastructure, which ultimately leads to a cost-saving effect since the additional investment is less than with a conventional interconnector. Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT, comments on the WindConnector: “The fact that this study is done by a European market player and a European grid operator with both extensive offshore experience will prove to be of great value for the further development of offshore wind energy.”

Illustration based on a graphic on WindConnector by TenneT

> See TenneT press release (html)

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Cooperative study on Wind Power Hub


“New approaches must be investigated to connect large scale offshore wind to the onshore grids,” says Mel Kroon, CEO of TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). And TenneT certainly can not be accused of being inactive in this regard. For example, in order to support the integration of larger offshore wind volumes, the TSO is investigating the possibilities of an interconnected grid system, the North Sea Wind Power Hub. The hub concept combines wind energy production, storage and transmission with a multinational connection of the transmission systems of the North Sea riparian states.

To further expedite the development of the North Sea Wind Power Hub, TenneT and innogy, one of the world’s leading operators of offshore wind farms, have signed a Letter of Intent to jointly conduct a feasibility study on interconnectors within the North Sea Wind Power Hub system. The cooperation involves possible designs, economic rationale, as well as regulatory and market requirements for such a complex international infrastructure. Since both partner companies have a proven track record in offshore wind projects in the North Sea, the joint investigation can build on the collective knowledge and experience of previous studies and ventures.

Picture using an illustration of TenneT/innogy

> See TenneT press release (html)

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“ZfK”: “Big data for a stable grid situation”


With fourteen transmission system operators (TSOs) from eleven Central and Eastern European countries as shareholders and four additional customers from four other countries, the surveillance area of the Munich-based regional security coordinator (RSC) TSCNET Services lies at the heart of the continent. TSCNET was originally set up as a joint TSO initiative to maintain the operational security of the electricity system. Today, TSCNET’s core responsibilities include coordinated network security analysis, capacity calculations, support in critical network situations, and aggregation of all relevant network data for the partner TSOs.

Despite their essential function within the integrated European transmission system, the work of the RSCs still is not well known to those who are not directly involved in the energy market. A comprehensive insight report published in Germany’s leading professional journal for the municipal energy economy, the “Zeitung für kommunale Wirtschaft” (ZfK), offers a great opportunity to improve TSCNET’s name recognition in this specific economic sector. A journalist from the prestigious press medium had a revealing talk with Maik Neubauer, one of the two Managing Directors of TSCNET Services.

The report is centred around TSCNET’s Daily Operational Planning Teleconference (DOPT) with the TSOs’ experts. In these conferences every day at 9 p.m., TSCNET’s risk analysis is presented every day and the catalogue of possible measures is discussed.

Mr Neubauer emphasises the outstanding role of the RSCs as an early warning system for grid security in the increasingly complex and rapidly changing transnational electricity system. He sees TSCNET well prepared for new tasks, as already now the “pan-European network security analysis is going to be strongly aligned with the other european RSCs”.

Power lines silhouetted with city night life. Picture: Voy Ager / Shutterstock, stock photo ID 631374623.

> Open “ZfK” article, in German (pdf, 427kb)

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TSCNET Services welcomes SEPS as shareholder


TSCNET Services is the result of an initiative of European transmission system operators (TSOs), and to this day our company is characterised by a particularly close relationship with our customers, most of whom are also our shareholders. Today we can proudly welcome the Slovak TSO, SEPS (Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava, a. s.), as the new, 14th shareholder. To mark this occasion, we have published a press release on SEPS’ participation as a shareholder.

The Slovak transmission grid consists of 2.138 km of 400 kV lines, 826 km of 220 kV lines and from historical reasons also 80 km of 110 kV lines and is connected with four neighboring countries: Czechia, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine – Burshtyn island. With the exception of the Ukraine, all neighboring TSOs are shareholders and customers of TSCNET. SEPS is solely responsible for electricity transmission throughout the country.

“A quick glance at the map is enough to see that with SEPS’ entry we are now completing the electricity security coordination in the central-eastern part of the continental transmission system” says Uwe Zimmermann, one of the two Managing Directors of TSCNET. “This move will further foster the security of supply in this region and underpins our ambition to further improve the already high quality of our security coordination services.” As a shareholder with full voting rights, SEPS can now also actively contribute to steering and developing the service company.

View of the Slovak capital Bratislava as seen from the Danube. In the background the famous castle. Picture: Džoko Stach, Pixabay.

> Open TSCNET Services press release (pdf, 119kb)

Press contact: Christoph Meinersmann
E-mail: c.meinersmann@extern-tscnet.eu

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“compactLine” nearly ready for commissioning


The “compactLine” pilot route at the substation Jessen/Nord in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt makes visible progress. With all pylons erected and the traverses installed, TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), now has started to equip the towers with cables. The unconventional “compactLine” is more than just a new design: The pylons are lower and the corridor width smaller than with conventional lines. This significantly reduces the impact on the environment and increases public acceptance.

As many components had to be especially developed for “compactLine”, it took three years of preliminary studies before the 380kV line was ready for the field trial. Mike Wildgrube, project manager for “compactLine” at 50Hertz, expects the cable work to be completed in a few weeks and the line commissioning in the second half of the year. The monitoring phase for the pilot line will take at least a year to thoroughly investigate how the individual components function as an entire system in continuous operation.

Since the very beginning of the project, 50Hertz has involved the public in research and planning and also conducted a representative population survey. The TSO continues this practice by running an open dialogue programme. Besides that, the TSO received several groups of visitors on the construction site on 5 June. Among them were not only delegations of other network operators, business associations, administration or politics, but also representatives of the German environmental organisation NABU and citizen interest groups.

Picture: 50Hertz

> See 50Hertz press release, in German (html)

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