GIS with Clean Air technology for Daxlanden

14.11.2019

In present-day gas-insulated high-voltage systems, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is commonly used as insulating gas. It has excellent electrical and chemical properties, but also a strong greenhouse effect. For reasons of climate protection, TransnetBW, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), focuses on eco-efficient technical concepts. In November last year, the TSCNET shareholder launched a pilot project at its substation in Obermooweiler, northeast of Lake Constance, with the world’s first gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) at extra-high voltage level using a climate-friendly alternative gas technology.

TransnetBW has now commissioned the new construction of the switchgear for the 380kV substation in Daxlanden near Karlsruhe, where the existing open-air facility will be replaced by two new GIS. Here, the TSO has opted for the so-called Clean Air technology, which exclusively uses processed air as an insulating medium instead of SF6. This significantly reduces the greenhouse effect of the entire switchgear system. The new GIS facilities will be built and commissioned gradually over the next few years and the existing open-air installation will be dismantled during ongoing operation.

The Daxlanden substation is an important network node in TransnetBW’s transmission grid and the central link between two grid construction projects from the German national Grid Development Plan for electricity (NEP), which contains essential grid extension projects to realise the energy transition. “A successful energy transition requires an efficient and future-proof transmission grid,” explains Dr. Werner Götz, Chairman of the TransnetBW Executive Board. “The more we are pleased to be able to make an additional contribution to the environment and climate protection by using the innovative Clean Air technology in Daxlanden.”

TransnetBW will build two GIS with Clean Air technology in the substation Daxlanden (computer simulation of the reconstructed Daxlanden substation: TransnetBW)

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

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TYNDP 2020 Scenario Report

13.11.2019

The Ten-Year Network Development Plans (TYNDPs) are published every two years by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and for gas (ENTSOG) with the participation of the respective member transmission system operators (TSOs). The TYNDPs support the European Commission in selecting Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) to be subsidised by European funds.

An EU regulation requires the ENTSOs to develop scenarios for their TYNDPs, and with the TYNDP 2020 the ENTSOs have designed these scenarios jointly for the second time. This cooperation makes sense because the scenarios not only serve to test the future needs and projects of the electricity and gas infrastructure, but also to investigate the interactions between gas and electricity grids in order to assess the infrastructure of a hybrid energy system.

The supply and demand data obtained from TSOs have resulted in the “National Trends” scenario, the central policy-based scenario that takes into account Member States’ national energy and climate plans as well as EU climate targets. The “Global Ambition” and “Decentralised Energy” scenarios are developed as full energy scenarios (not only for gas and electricity) and are in line with the objective of the Paris Convention. “These scenarios represent a comprehensive, reliable and contrasted set of possible energy futures that will allow the ENTSOs to perform a sound assessment of European infrastructure projects in the TYNDPs,” comments Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General of ENTSO-E.

The “TYNDP 2020 Scenario Report” featuring the draft versions of the scenarios has now been released by the ENTSOs and a formal public consultation on the scenarios will be launched shortly and will run until January. On 5 December, the ENTSOs will organise a public workshop in Brussels to present the TYNDP 2020 Scenario Report.

The ENTSOs have published their joint “TYNDP 2020 Scenario Report” (illustration using a picture by ENTSO-E/ENTSOG)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Visit TYNDP 2020 Scenario Report website (html)
> Open TYNDP 2020 Scenario Report (pdf, 4.48MB)
> Visit Scenarios data visualisation platform (html)
> Register for Scenario workshop (html)

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Single Intraday Coupling expanded

08.11.2019

Europe-wide intraday coupling is a key component for the completion of the European internal energy market. To help achieve this goal, the European cross-border Single Intraday Coupling (SIDC) solution was launched in June 2018 (then called XBID), standing for a significant step towards a single integrated continent-wide intraday market. A market of this kind increases the overall efficiency of intraday trading through effective competition, increased liquidity and more efficient use of generation resources across Europe. The SIDC solution is based on a common IT system with a common order book, a capacity management module and a shipping module.

The participating countries were initially Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. SDIC will now be expanded and continuous electricity trading will be possible across seven further countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Nominated electricity market operators (NEMOs) and the participating transmission system operators (TSOs) have confirmed the go-live of the extended SIDC and two additional local implementation projects on 19 November with first deliveries on 20 November.

TSOs already collaborating in SIDC include the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, TenneT, TransnetBW and Energinet as well as the TSCNET client Creos from Luxembourg. With the second wave, six more shareholders follow, namely ČEPS, ELES, HOPS, MAVIR, PSE and Transelectrica.

The SIDC solution for a single integrated European intraday market is expanded by seven countries, including Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia

Linkup
> See Energinet press release (html)
> See PSE press release (html)
> See APG press release, in German (html)

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PROMOTioN for a North Sea transmission grid

08.11.2019

“PROgress on Meshed HVDC Offshore Transmission Networks” is a very precise project description but also a bit lengthy. In contrast, the dynamic acronym “PROMOTioN” refers quite well to the ambitions that the consortium members contribute to the research project. General goal of PROMOTioN is the further development of innovative technologies relevant for the deployment of meshed offshore HVDC nets. The more specific objective is to improve cooperation between grid operators and major suppliers of technical architecture and interoperable technologies to accelerate offshore HVDC grid development. PROMOTioN is the largest energy project funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme, with a consortium of 33 partners from 11 countries, including the two TSCNET shareholders Energinet, the Danish transmission system operator (TSO), and TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO.

A report by PROMOTioN has just been published (“Regulatory and financing principles for a meshed HVDC offshore grid”) summarising the principal findings for the design of a legal, regulatory and financial framework for cross-border HVDC offshore connections. The report provides recommendations for policy-makers and other stakeholders for overcoming regulatory and financial obstacles to the realisation of a North Sea transmission system. The key conclusion of the report and of the whole project is that the North Sea riparian states need to establish a harmonised legal and economic framework to fully exploit the potential of a meshed offshore grid in the North Sea.

A distinction is made between short-term and long-term recommendations, each of which is presented very concisely. Short term recommendations include the improvement of governance and regulation of the internal market for (offshore) electricity, optimisation of innovation financing, support for early communication of all parties involved and the formalisation of cross-border cost allocation (CBCA) as a binding contract. The latter aspect is regarded as one of the most important pillars in the economic framework. The most significant long-term recommendation is that EU member states, third countries and the EU should consider adopting a North Sea Treaty containing the objectives and principles of the offshore grid.

Tim Meyerjürgens, COO at TenneT, comments on the PROMOTioN project: “The development of a cross-border HVDC grid is one of the most promising opportunities for a sustainable energy future in Europe. TenneT is cooperating closely with other TSOs to develop the idea of a meshed and efficient offshore grid in the North Sea, which requires the creation of a common regulatory framework. PROMOTioN’s research shows the way to make this happen.”

The PROMOTioN project provides a framework for cross-border HVDC offshore connections (picture: TenneT)

Linkup
> See TenneT press release (html)
> Visit PROMOTioN website (html)
> Open PROMOTioN report (pdf, 2MB)

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Key ENTSO-E report on regional coordination

07.11.2019

At national level, the main tasks of transmission system operators (TSOs) are the transport of electricity from producers to large consumers and distribution networks, ensuring the operational safety as well as the planning, development and modernisation of electricity grids to ensure security of supply and cost-efficiency. More recently, TSOs have also been held responsible for achieving climate and energy policy objectives. European TSOs have also long been thinking and acting across borders in an increasingly integrated energy market. To ensure safe operation at European level, national TSOs coordinate at regional and pan-European level.

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) now has published the “Enhanced TSO Regional Coordination for Europe” report, coming with the suggestive subtitle: “Act locally, coordinate regionally, think European”. This report with a time perspective until 2030 describes the shift of the five European Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) such as TSCNET Services to Regional Coordination Centres (RCCs) in the wake of the Clean Energy Package (CEP). It focuses on operational and market needs, without disregarding the fact that regional cooperation between TSOs goes beyond these two issues. Nevertheless, the emphasis was put on these aspects, as markets and operations are more and more converging: Electricity is traded closer to real time, markets are more volatile, generation is more variable and cross-border and long-distance transmission are increasing. For this reason, the interfaces between market and physical infrastructure require to be consolidated.

The “Enhanced TSO Regional Coordination for Europe” report contains several recommendations and a roadmap for the coordination of TSOs to continue on the path towards a future European energy system that is sustainable, socially balanced and reliable. The five standard operational services of the RSCs – Common Grid Model, Coordinated Operational Planning, Security Analysis, Outage Planning Coordination, Short- to Medium-Term Adequacy Forecast, and Coordinated Capacity Calculation – and the Service for Organisational Support – Consistency Check of TSOs’ System Defence and Restoration Plans – are to be ported from RSCs to RCCs over the next decade.

ENTSO-E has released a report on enhanced TSO regional coordination (picture: ENTSO-E)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release, html
> Open Enhanced Coordination Report (pdf, 804.86kB)

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New Amprion phase shifter in operation

06.11.2019

The German transmission system operators (TSOs) have to react with innovative technology to the changes in the German energy landscape caused by the shutdown of nuclear and other large power plants in the course of the energy transition. An important issue is the loss of reactive power, and an appropriate technological response are rotating phase shifters, which are highly efficient and flexible in the provision of reactive power to maintain voltage.

TSCNET shareholder Amprion has now commissioned such a high-performance system at its Illingen-Uchtelfangen substation in the German federal state of Saarland. It is the second rotating phase shifter in the Amprion grid after the TSO commissioned the first one in September 2018 in Oberottmarshausen (Bavarian Swabia). Amprion has invested €60m in the new state-of-the-art equipment, which keeps the transmission grid stable and thus further increases supply security in Saarland.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by Anke Rehlinger, Saarland Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour, Energy and Transport. Together with Amprion Managing Director Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte, General Manager of GE Grid Solutions Gerhard Seyrling and representatives of district and municipal politics, she pressed the “red button”, which symbolically put the facility into operation. Mrs Rehlinger commented on the new device: “Against the backdrop of the energy transition, grid stability and security of supply are becoming increasingly important. With the installation of the rotating phase shifter, Amprion is making an important contribution to the future of power transmission grids.”

Amprion has commissioned a new rotating phase shifter at the Illingen-Uchtelfangen substation (picture: Amprion;  Amprion CTO Klaus Kleinekorte and Saarland Minister Anke Rehlinger in the middle)

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

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Two transformers reach Garenfeld

05.11.2019

The last weekend was literally “heavy” for TSCNET shareholder Amprion, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). Not one but two 276-tonne transformers were transported to Amprion’s Garenfeld substation in Hagen in North Rhine-Westphalia. It took both days of the weekend for the 30 kilometre stretch from the railway station to the substation. The special road transport units each had a total length of around 80 metres and together with the transformer each weighed 519 tonnes.

About 40 employees from various companies were involved in the transport during the two nights. At the end of August, the first of a total of five transformers had already been delivered to the substation. Amprion is currently planning to move the last two transformers to Garenfeld at the end of November.

Two transformers have been delivered to the Garenfeld substation operated by Amprion (picture: Amprion)

Linkup
> See last week’s announcement press release, in German (html)
> See Amprion tweet, in German (html)

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“Welcoming people from all over the world”

04.11.2019

Munich is growing and growing, also because many people from abroad come here for an attractive job. According to a study by the consulting firm Mercer published in spring, Munich is the city with the third-highest quality of life worldwide for expatriates. Of the almost 1.6 million inhabitants of Munich, more than one in four has a foreign passport. In addition to the quality of life, people from abroad especially appreciate the leisure activities, the environmental quality, the security and, last but not least, the career opportunities.

The vast majority of TSCNET Services employees also come from abroad – currently from almost 30 different countries. Jamilette Johnston, or Jamie for short, knows this situation well. Originally from NYC, she has lived in Miami, Madrid and moved to Munich almost ten years ago. She runs one of the most successful blogs for foreign employees and their families in Munich: “City Starlings”. The motto: “Inspiring Expats”! We met Jamie for a talk.

Hello, Jamie, let’s start right at the beginning: What is it like to move to Munich from abroad?

Moving to Munich, or any city for that matter, can turn out to be an amazing or a daunting experience. It depends on so many factors: If this is your first move abroad, it can certainly be overwhelming for anyone. If you are moving from a city with a warm climate, you might find the cold winter months in Munich challenging. If you move from a city with a lot of pollution or dirty streets, then Munich will seem utopian. It’s all relative, isn’t it?
But really, the only factor that will make this a successful expat experience is YOU. You and only you will take what life has to offer and turn it into the best adventure you can embark on.

Many do not come alone but have their partner with them. I read the following line from you: “A happy Spouse, makes a happy House!” What do you mean by that?

It is especially hard for the trailing spouse, who has left behind work, family, friends, an entire support system to start anew. I suggest using this opportunity to travel, to learn the local language, to meet new people and immerse yourself in new cultures. It is easier said than done, but maybe all your sacrifices lead you to finding your life’s purpose.

We also often experience that the partner is a very vital support when settling in. Who or what else can help one?

Luckily, the city offers countless opportunities for expats. Munich has become a very multi-culti city, welcoming people from all over the world. Due to this, there are several international groups you can join, such as Internations, Meetup, Munich International Women’s Club, etc. You can also volunteer for nonprofits, such as, ReDI School or SMILE – English Choir. Meet with like-minded people, but don’t forget to meet the locals as well. They possess a wealth of information.

That’s a good cue. We are convinced that we as an employer and especially the co-workers can be a great support, but we also always advise to build something up outside the office and the circle of co-workers and to take advantage of the many opportunities here.

You are spoilt for choice, just take the city’s cultural offer: I wouldn’t even know where to begin, but museums, opera, ballet, theatre, concerts, there is so much of a selection throughout the year, that you cannot get bored. There’s something for every taste.
Many times, your preferences will adapt to your new surroundings. Since coming to Munich, the outdoors has become my playground. I took up hiking and skiing, which was new and scary at first. But with the pre-Alps and Alps so close, I had to give them a chance and have fallen in love with nature. Walchensee, Benediktenwand and Tegernsee are great places for hiking. And there are so many great ski resorts like Wilder Kaiser, Ski Amade and Zillertal. For me, that had another positive side effect: This has made it easier for me to cope with the winter months 

That must have been a pretty big change. In the past, on a beautiful winter weekend, half of Munich was somewhere on a ski slope in the Bavarian uplands or in Tyrol. What role do the neighbouring countries play for expats?

It has been amazing to discover the beauty of these neighbouring countries – Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and so many more. Take advantage of their proximity. You can discover so many amazing places inside and outside Germany by car, but also by train. The “Bayern-Ticket” is one of the best kept travel tips – it can save families and large groups big bucks when traveling through Bavaria.
If you prefer to stay closer to home, Munich has much to offer: Oktoberfest, Tollwood and Auer Dult are only some of the many street festivals throughout the year. Get ready for the upcoming Christmas season! Christmas Markets usually start on the Friday before Sunday Advent and run through Christmas Eve. There are many throughout Germany offering spiced wine, food and local crafts. You can’t help being affected by the festive lights and cheerful mood of the locals.

What is your favourite among the Christmas markets?

In Munich, my favourite ones are the Medieval Market in Wittelsbacher Platz and the Christmas Village in the Munich Residenz.

Is there another tip for expats that we definitely shouldn’t forget?

Good that you ask, otherwise I would have almost forgotten the annual “Expat In The City” event – a very important event for expats. The next date is pending – so keep an eye out for updates on their website, which additionally has a lot of helpful resources for expats.
Also, venture out about town. Be a tourist in your new city. Munich is small, but there is much to see. Opt to travel by bike as much as you can. Bike paths throughout the city make it safe and practical to get around. But make sure you learn a few road rules before you do though.
And don’t give up when things get tough! I have had my ups and downs, it is not always easy. But I’ve slowly built up my support system consisting of both expats and locals alike. This balance has helped me in my own journey, and I have never regretted my move to Munich. I hope these tips help you settle into your new home.

Many thanks for the interview and all the tips, Jamie. And all the best with City Starlings!

“City Starlings” by Jamie Johnston is one of the most successful blogs for foreign employees and their families in Munich

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> Visit Jamie’s blog City Starlings (html)
> Visit City Starlings on Instagram (html)

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TenneT quadruples capacity across the Elbe

29.10.2019

A new Elbe crossing between the German federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony for the transport of green electricity from North to South Germany has been completed. Tim Meyerjürgens, COO of the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT, together with the State Secretaries Andreas Feicht and Enak Ferlemann, the Energy Ministers Olaf Lies (Lower Saxony) and Jan Philipp Albrecht (Schleswig-Holstein), has commissioned the new power line between the substations Hamburg/Nord (near Norderstedt/Schleswig-Holstein) and Dollern (Lower Saxony).

The new 380kV line of the TSCNET shareholder consists of four sections and is a replacement of existing lines with predominantly lower voltage levels to meet the requirements of the energy transition. A total of 110 masts were built or modified and 37 temporary masts were erected on several sections of the line. Almost all of them have now been dismantled. The installation of new conductor ropes at “Elbe Crossing 2” which has the highest pylons in Europe with a height of 227 meters, was also part of this demanding grid expansion project.

Tim Meyerjürgens explained on the occasion of the commissioning: “The extension of the 45-kilometre-long power line is an important component of the energy transition. This also includes the optimisation of the ‘Elbe Crossing 2’, the main artery in the three-phase transmission grid between Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony, which serves as a bridge between the two largest wind power states in Germany.” With these reconstruction measures, Tennet has quadrupled the available capacity for the transmission of wind power in this area to 9.6 GW. The transit capacity between Denmark and Germany will also be increased, which is why the new connection is of central importance not only for the energy transition in Germany, but also at European level.

Picture: TenneT

TenneT has put new power line across the Elbe into operation (picture: TenneT; from left to right: TenneT COO Tim Meyerjürgens; Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony Minister for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection; Jan Philipp Albrecht, Schleswig-Holstein Minister of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalisation; Parliamentary State Secretary Enak Ferlemann; Andreas Feicht, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)

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

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Construction start of DolWin 6 converter station

24.10.2019

The so-called DolWin wind farm cluster in the southwestern part of the German Bight is an important component of Germany’s future regenerative energy supply. TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), is responsible for transferring the DolWin energy ashore. The DolWin1 and 2 onshore connections are in operation since 2015 and 2016 respectively, and DolWin 3 is ready for feed-in since September 2018. The other ongoing projects, DolWin 5 and 6, are also making good progress.

DolWin6 is a 900MW DC connection with a length of 90km. The associated offshore platform to convert the three-phase current generated by the wind farms into DC is DolWin kappa. Half of the 90km distance is covered by submarine cables and the other half by underground cables to transport the electricity from the landing site in Hilgenriedersiel to the TenneT facilities in Emden in the Lower Saxony region of East Frisia.

On the grounds of the Emden/Ost substation, the TSO is building a converter station and a transformer station to convert the DC back into three-phase current and feed it into the onshore grid. The first construction phase of the DolWin6 onshore converter station has now begun with the foundation work. In the next 6 months, 1000 piles with a length of up to 24 meters will be drilled into the ground to create a stable foundation for the station.

TenneT begins construction of the DolWin6 onshore converter station (pictures: TenneT)

Linkup
> See TenneT Tweet, in German (html)

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