Second DCT reaches new TenneT substation

19.04.2018

As a result of the energy transition, the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) all are heavily involved in compensation measures to maintain long-term security of electricity supply in light of the decommissioning of nuclear and other large-scale power plants. Since 2015, TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO, has been building the completely new substation Bergrheinfeld/West in northern Bavaria, near the already shutdown Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant.

Bergrheinfeld/West is one of the projects TenneT considers essential for Germany’s energy future. Hence, the TSO invests about €100m in the new facility which will be one of the most modern of its kind. Already on site are a rotating phase shifter with generator transformer, three compensating coils and the first of two direct coupling transformers (DCTs) to connect TenneT’s supra-regional 380kV transmission grid to the regional 110kV grid. With a transmission capacity of 300MVA each, the transformers can theoretically provide electricity for around one million households.

Today, the second direct coupling transformer was delivered to Bergrheinfeld/West. It was built by GE Grid Solutions in Mönchengladbach and initially transported by ship across the rivers Rhine and Main to the port of Garstadt, where it was reloaded onto a 67-meter heavy-duty road transport unit. The transport weight of the transformer is about 260t, and the subsequent operating weight of both units will be 370t each. Preparations for the initial set up of the transformers are expected to be finished in July 2018, followed by the commissioning of the substation’s 380kV system section. The completion of the entire Bergrheinfeld/West substation is scheduled for 2019.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: TenneT

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Welcome, Juan! Expertise for a prudent PM

19.04.2018

TSCNET Services can introduce a new Project Management Officer (PMO): Juan Ramirez, coming from Colombia. He is part of the Corporate Services team, but will also help with the structuring and management of projects from other teams. The new co-worker brings a lot of experience: Juan has worked in the banking industry for five years as accountant, business administrator, and financial expert in the areas of financial analysis, corporate strategy, and project management. He decided to leave Colombia for Germany to do his Master of Business Administration in Leipzig at the Graduate School of Management (“HHL Leipzig”).

Now he has joined TSCNET Services as PMO. “Working with TSCNET combines three elements that are essential to fulfil my professional and personal ambitions,” says Juan. “Firstly, my role as PMO is not only a fantastic challenge in the face of the company’s rapid growth, it also allows me to contribute my own ideas and also to implement them. Secondly, I am attracted by the amazing work environment with its truly open character and a really international team. And thirdly, I can learn here from an industry that has the power to help shape the future of a country.” As they would say in Colombia: “¡Bienvenido al equipo!”

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Upgrade in Lower Austria

18.04.2018

The Austrian transmission system operator (TSO) APG maintains its sustained efforts to make the Austrian transmission grid future-proof. The TSCNET shareholder is investing €30m to modernise and expand the Ternitz substation in Lower Austria’s Industrieviertel. A new 220/110 kV transformer is the centrepiece of the retrofitted facility.

The 245-tonne high-tech device was delivered to Ternitz on 16 April. The transformer was transported from the manufacturing site in Weiz in eastern Styria via train and for the last few kilometres by means of heavy-duty road transport. With the substation upgrade, TSCNET shareholder APG ensures fail-safe operation and long-term security of electricity supply in the Industrieviertel, Upper Styria and in the Styrian Mürz valley. The completion of all reconstruction and modernisation measures is scheduled for 2020.

> See APG press release, in German (html)

Picture: APG / Martin Wieland

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“Tagesspiegel Background”: “Most valuable advice”

17.04.2018

Will there be large amounts of wind energy in the coastal regions? Where do bottlenecks might occur? And how should transmission system operators (TSOs) react in order to avoid critical network situations? ‒ Safety analysis and risk management for the pan-European transmission system based on large volumes of data is the core business of the European regional security coordinators (RSCs), one of which is the Munich-based TSCNET Services. Although there are many other tasks ‒ such as calculating generation capacity to keep the grid stable ‒ RSCs only monitor and evaluate the market and grid situation to advise their TSO shareholders, but do not operate the grid themselves.

Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services, took the opportunity to explain the business of the Munich-based RSC more detailed in a personal portrait and interview in the “Tagesspiegel Background Energy & Climate”, a daily market newsletter for decision-makers from the energy and climate sector. The “Background” is created by specialists from the renowned German daily newspaper “Tagesspiegel”. In addition, Mr Neubauer gives insights into his personal view of the digital and energy-specific future, his motivations and inspirations.

Recently, in the context of the European Commision’s “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, there has been some discussion about the role of the RSCs and wether they should take over operational responsibility. Regarding this, Mr Neubauer represents clear positions: “In my view, Brussels underestimates how complex the European power grids are and how valuable the long experience of national TSOs is.” Hence, the TSCNET managing director welcomes the prevailing opinion that the RSCs will not have direct control of the network in the near future. Instead, TSCNET Services will streamline its evaluative and advisory functions. This includes grid stabilisation assistance after outages, training of TSO staff and active proposals for necessary compensation measures to improve cross-border coordination, increase safety and, ultimately, save costs.

> Open article and interview, in German (pdf, 126kb).

The article was published in the daily decision-maker newsletter “Tagesspiegel Background Energy & Climate” and is reissued with kind permission. The rights are held by the publishing house Der Tagesspiegel GmbH.

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New transformer reaches Amprion substation

16.04.2018

Already in February 2018, a controllable rotating phase-shifter was supplied to the west Bavarian substation Oberottmarshausen near Augsburg, operated by TSCNET shareholder Amprion, one the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). Due to the decommissioning of nuclear and other large power plants in the course of the energy transition, compensatory measures have become necessary for the German TSOs, and a phase-shifter is a highly effective and flexible reactive power compensation system to counterbalance the ceasing reactive power capacities.

Today, another heavy-duty road transport has reached Oberottmarshausen: The new transformer necessary to connect the rotating phase shifter to the grid. The transformer alone has a weight of about 235t, and the entire road tranport unit weighs around 480t. The work at the substation itself is well on schedule and Amprion expects to start trial operation of the new state-of-the-art equipment during the summer.

> See Amprion press release, in German (html)

Picture: Screenshot taken from the video “Siemens at a glance – Energy Management” (YouTube)

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German TSOs open consultation on control reserve

13.04.2018

The four German transmission system operators (TSOs) 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW have opened a public consultation on their draft for the revision of modalities for reserve control providers. The four TSCNET shareholders thus fulfill a requirement from the EU Guideline on Electricity Balancing of 23 November 2017. Market participants are welcome to comment on the draft from 12 April to 13 May.

At the core of the consultation are the modalities for providers of control reserve for primary control power, secondary control power, and minutes reserve. The consultation will be accompanied by a workshop on 23 April in Nuremberg in the German state of Bavaria. Here, market players have the opportunity to discuss the new rules for reserve control suppliers with representatives of the TSOs.

> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
> See TenneT press release, in German (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)
> Access to consultation and information on workshop at regelleistung.net (html)

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HOPS joins Med-TSO

12.04.2018

TSCNET shareholder HOPS, the Croatian transmission system operator (TSO), is known as a very active company in terms of multilateral cooperation. In order to further strengthen the exchange of expertise and experience, and to participate in diverse joint projects, HOPS acceded the Association of the Mediterranean Transmission System Operators for Electricity (Med-TSO).

During the Med-TSO assembly in Brussels, Belgium, on 11 April, HOPS has officially become a member of the association. With the addition of HOPS, Med-TSO now brings together TSOs from 19 Mediterranean countries sharing the primary objective of creating a Mediterranean energy market. All European Med-TSO members are also represented in the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), which leads to much desirable synergies.

> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)

Picture: HOPS

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Record weight: Arkona converter platform installed

11.04.2018

After being shipped on a floating pontoon from its French construction dockyard to the wind farm cluster “Westlich Adlergrund” in the Baltic Sea near the German Island of Rügen, the platform topside for the Arkona windfarm, which lies in the south-east part of the cluster, has been mounted on the platform jackets on 8 April. The 4,000-tonne construction is the heaviest platform ever to be raised to an offshore foundation in one piece. Precise positioning work, strong nerves and the help of the “Oleg Strashnov”, currently the largest crane ship available in the Baltic Sea, were all needed to successfully complete the process.

The Arkona converter platform will be used collectively by the wind farm operator and by TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). It collects and converts the wind current from the Arkona wind farm, whose turbines will have a collective capacity of 385MW ‒ sufficient to supply about 400.000 households with green energy. 50Hertz is implementing Ostwind 1, the grid connection for the wind farm cluster, transmitting the electricity with a 220kV submarine cable to the onshore substation Lubmin in the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Dr. Henrich Quick, Head of Offshore projects at 50Hertz, explains that the joint platform ensures a high level of supply security and cost reductions for all involved: wind farm operators, TSOs and German consumers. Over the next few months, the topside will be further equipped, tested and prepared for later operation. In compliance with the German Offshore Grid Development Plan, Ostwind 1 will feed green energy into the German transmission system from the end of 2019.

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

Picture: 50Hertz / Christian Brehm

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First edition of the Bidding Zone Review

06.04.2018

With the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) as facilitator, fifteen European transmission system operators (TSOs) have published a first edition of the Bidding Zone Review in line with the European Commission guideline on capacity allocation and congestion management. Among these TSOs are the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, ČEPS, ELES, Energinet, MAVIR, PSE, TenneT, and TransnetBW as well as the TSCNET customers Creos and SEPS.

The release follows a public consultation of the review, which lasted until 9 March. The involved TSOs have carefully considered stakeholder feedback and have now made their recommendation to the respective national government and regulatory authorities. The competent authorities have to reach an agreement by 30 September on whether to accept the bidding zone configuration or to request modifications.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html, with access to report on the review)
> See PSE press release (html, added on 10 April)

Picture: Illustration based on final ENTSO-E report

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Transformer for Combined Grid Solution

06.04.2018

At the Hollandia shipyard in Krimpen aan den IJssel in the Dutch province of South Holland, the next step has been taken for the Combined Grid Solution, the first Danish-German offshore connection in the Baltic Sea: A 450MVA transformer was placed on the Kriegers Flak Extension offshore platform. The interconnector is a joint venture by the two TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, one of the four German Transmission System Operators (TSOs), and Energinet, the Danish TSO.

By linking two offshore wind farms, the German Baltic 2 and the planned Danish Kriegers Flak, the Combined Grid Solution will integrate the electricity systems of both respective countries. The transformer is necessary to balance the different voltage levels of the Danish and German offshore wind farms. After the complete assembly of the transformer, the entire platform topside will be shipped to Kriegers Flak at the end of April. Here, it will be installed on the gravity foundation, which has been erected in February of this year on the floor of the Danish Baltic Sea.

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

Picture: Dieter Böhm / 50Hertz

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