Chairman of the Supervisory Board confirmed

08.01.2019

Dr. Rainer Pflaum, CFO of TransnetBW, one of the four German power transmission system operators (TSOs), has been confirmed as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TSCNET Services. Dr. Pflaum was elected Chairman for the first time at the beginning of 2016 and now confirmed for the coming three years.

Due to the ongoing implementation phase of security coordination and capacity calculation services for several European regions and new requirements from the Clean Energy Package recently published by the European Commission, TSCNET Services is facing growing challenges and increased needs of close cooperation links to other RSCs in Europe. With the re-election of Dr. Pflaum, the shareholders of TSCNET Services therefore ensure competence and continuity in the Supervisory Board of the company with today 15 TSOs from twelve European countries as shareholders.

Dr. Rainer Pflaum, CFO of TransnetBW, has been confirmed as Chairman of the Supervisory Board (picture: TransnetBW)

Linkup
> Open TSCNET Services press release (pdf, 119kB)
> Open Vita Dr. Rainer Pflaum, corporate website TransnetBW (pdf, 127kB)

Questions?
Christoph Meinersmann, Communications/PR (external consultant)
E-Mail: c.meinersmann@extern-tscnet.eu

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Welcome as a new Office Assistant, Jara Ibañez!

06.01.2019

Office assistant positions can be found in all sectors and have a broad spectrum of skills. They are sometimes referred to as secretaries or administrative assistants, but what they actually do is help make an office work. The tasks are very different, often based on the specialisations they have, how much professional experience they possess and what career aspirations they have. This also goes for Jara Ibañez, who joined TSCNET Services as an Office Assistant within the Corporate Services unit at the end of 2018.

The 30-year-old Spanish has successfully completed a vocational training in administration and finance. She grew up in San Sebastián in the north of the country and lived on the Spanish Mediterranean coast before moving to Munich in autumn 2017. In the course of her life, however, she has already travelled to 17 countries. “They all taught me something lasting and revealed a part of their culture to me,” says Jara. Besides travelling and exploring new countries, sport is her most important leisure activity. “Sport is the best way for me to get away from the daily routines,” she explains.

For a total of five years, Jara worked for a manufacturer of dance- and sportswear in administration and customer service. Then she felt a need for change and professional growth, exploring a new culture and challenging herself. At TSCNET, she mainly supports in administrative and financial work. She is particularly attracted by the interesting industry with its advanced technologies and the company with its team spirit and great potential for personal and professional development. “I felt the warm and dynamic environment right away during my interview,” says Jara, “and that proved to be true during the first few weeks here.”

Jara Ibañez has joined TSCNET Services as an Office Assistant within the Corporate Services unit

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Lex Hartman resigns and TenneT adjusts management structures

02.01.2019

On 1 January 2019, personnel and structural changes at management level took effect at TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). To begin with, Managing Director Lex Hartman resigns from the Executive Boards of TenneT TSO GmbH and TenneT TSO B.V. In addition, the company’s governance structure, related to the ongoing process of refining TenneT’s development strategy, will be adapted to better achieve the TSO’s future objectives.

TenneT CEO Manon van Beek wholeheartedly thanks Lex Hartman for his “major contributions in the Executive Board to the development of TenneT” and especially emphasised his significant role for “the improvement of TenneT’s visibility and reputation in Germany”. Lex Hartman, who began his career with TenneT in 1999 and held various positions during his long term of office, has been a member of the Executive Board of TenneT Holding BV since 2008 and of TenneT TSO GmbH since 2010. Mr. Hartmann indicates the need for a personal change after more than 10 years “as a board member for this fantastic company” and further comments: “I am grateful that TenneT gave me the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to society.” However, Hartman will continue to serve the Executive Board as a strategic advisor.

As far as the new board structure is concerned, the Executive Board of TenneT Holding BV now consists of four directors: Manon van Beek (CEO), Otto Jager (CFO) and two COOs, Ben Voorhorst and Wilfried Breuer. The nomination of Wilfried Breuer is only temporary, as he has decided to accept a position as Technical Director at a manufacturer of power engineering technology. TenneT thanks Mr Breuer for his substantial contributions and commitment. In the first quarter of 2019, he will continue to work with the TSO, while the search for his successor has already begun.

Lex Hartman resigns from the Executive Boards of TenneT (picture: TenneT)

Linkup
> See TenneT press release on Mr Hartman’s resignation (html)
> See TenneT press release on management changes (html)

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Transformer for TenneT’s hybrid Statcom facility

01.01.2019

Right on time for Christmas 2018, a heavy-duty train loaded with a 299-tonne transformer built by ABB reached the Borken substation operated by TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). Here at the long-established substation site in Borken in the German state of Hesse, practically in the middle of the German power system, the TSO is currently building the first German hybrid static synchronous compensator system (Statcom). In order to efficiently connect the Statcom system, which will later be operated at 40kV, to the existing extra-high voltage grid, a so-called impedance matching transformer is required.

The hybrid Statcom facility will provide reactive power as compensation for the declining capacities previously provided by large power plants, which are now being successively taken off the grid in the course of the energy transition. In the three-phase transmission system, the reactive power must be in balance with the active power in order to maintain the grid’s voltage at the required level. That is why reactive power compensation is a priority task for the German TSOs.

On the morning of 8 January 2019, the foundations of the transformer will be laid in front of the Statcom plant which is currently under construction. It will then take around three months before the matching transformer is operational. The entire Statcom system is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2019. In Borken, TenneT is investing around €30m in future-proof grid operation. Germany’s first hybrid Statcom system will then not only contribute to dynamic voltage stabilisation, but the entire Borken substation will also become one of the most modern hubs for green power in the TenneT grid.

TenneT has been supplied with a matching HDVC transformer for its hybrid Statcom facility at the Borken substation (picture: ABB)

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

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Happy holidays and all the best for the new year

21.12.2018

Together with our partners, we at TSCNET Services can look back on a very successful but also particularly challenging year. Most importantly, hand in hand with the power transmission system operators (TSOs) and in cooperation with the other Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs), the regulatory authorities and the various participants in the energy market, we once again ensured a secure power supply in Europe without a single major power outage. However, this has sometimes required all our knowledge and expertise.

As a company of now 15 TSOs from 12 countries from the Netherlands to Romania and from Denmark to Slovenia, we supported more customers, introduced new services and further improved our existing services in 2018. To this end, we expanded our common infrastructure, developed new tools and programmes and hired and trained new employees. We will continue this course in the coming year.

While most of us can relax and spend some time with their families during the festive season, we would also like to call to mind our colleagues who work in our Operator Room and in the control centres of the TSOs on public holidays and at night – power supply is a 24/7 task. We wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous 2019.

TSCNET Services wishes you a Happy Holiday and a joyful New Year

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TSO proposals for balancing market integration

20.12.2018

To pave the way for a well-functioning energy union, there are eight European network codes: regulations that are intended to promote the integration and coordination of the various national European energy markets. One of these codes, the Commission regulation establishing a guideline for electricity balancing (EBGL), is intended – as the wording implies – to integrate the national European balancing markets.

Cross-border balancing is crucial for the transmission system operators (TSOs) to continuously ensure that the grid frequency is kept within a defined security range and that the required level and quality of power reserves are maintained. The European TSOs have now substantially advanced the guideline implementation by submitting six proposals for balancing market integration and the creation of platforms for the exchange of balancing energy products to the competent national regulatory authorities (NRAs).

With the assistance of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSOE), these proposals have been developed in close cooperation between all TSOs and consulted with stakeholders. Laurent Schmitt, ENTSO-E Secretary General, is convinced that the realisation of the TSO proposals will create a level playing field for all market participants and thus lead to increased cross-border participation, supply security, competition and share of renewable energy. Consequently, Mr Schmitt identifies a “true ‘win-win-win situation‘, good for customer, the environment and the economy”.

The European TSOs have submitted six proposals for balancing market integration to the competent NRAs

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Visit the EBGL website (html)

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InnoGrid 2019 on cyber-physical grids

19.12.2018

A few days before Christmas, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) pointed out one of the most important dates in the coming year for innovative network concepts: InnoGrid 2019, which will take place on 13 and 14 May in Brussels, Belgium.

In recent editions, InnoGrid has proven to be the key European event for electricity grid innovation and there is no reason why it should be any different this time. The prestigious annual event is organised jointly by ENTSO-E and the European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids (EDSO). The motto of InnoGrid 2019 is: “Connecting Physics and Digits: Power Platforms on the Rise”. What’s the whole issue? It is about physical networks and their permeation with information and communication technologies, transforming the energy system into a cyber-physical system.

How can it be ensured that digitisation will reach its full potential? And what is the best possible interaction between transmission system operators (TSOs) and distribution system operators (DSOs)? CEOs of the industry will answer these and other questions and present their respective innovation strategies. At InnoGrid 2019 you will get acquainted with today’s emerging power platforms and have the opportunity to discuss the necessary regulatory, political and financial framework conditions. Sponsoring opportunities for InnoGrid 2019 are already available and the calls for applications will be sent out shortly.

ENTSO-E and EDSO are hosting the 8th annual InnoGrid conference on innovation in electricity networks from 13-14 May in Brussels

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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Publications on HDVC reliability and the balancing market

13.12.2018

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has adopted positions on two systemically relevant topics for the European energy market: the electricity balancing market and the improvement of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system reliability. Two respective papers have been released by ENTSO-E. The first, a balancing guideline, gives a simplified overview of the target model of the European balancing energy market and explains the most important concepts and processes associated with this market and the platforms for the exchange of balancing energy products. In addition to the focus on the interaction of the different balancing processes, the legal framework of the target model is also briefly outlined.

In its position paper on HDVC reliability, ENTSO-E recognises HDVC as an increasingly important method of transmitting large quantities of electrical energy for the Europe-wide transmission grid. As new HVDC connections play a key role in the future development of the continental transmission system, the reliability, availability, compatibility and robustness of the technology will be crucial for market and system security. For future challenges, high system security and the needs of an efficient European integrated market, it is essential that the owners of HVDC installations, together with other relevant HVDC stakeholders, focus not only on technology innovation but also on further process development, HVDC network integration studies and the maintainability to be carried out by transmission system operators (TSOs). ENTSO-E strongly supports more efficient cooperation between all HDVC players.

ENTSO-E has released a European electricity balancing guideline as well as a position paper on improving the reliability of HVDC systems  (picture of HVDC Plus IGBT converter modules: Siemens AG, www.siemens.com/presse)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release on balancing market (html)
> Open Balancing Guideline (pdf, 892.3kB)
> See ENTSO-E press release on HDVC reliability (html)
> Open HDVC paper (pdf, 1.8MB)

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“RiffReporter” story: The more precise the forecast, the less intervention is required

11.12.2018

A detailed article by freelance journalist Daniela Becker on the German reportage website RiffReporter, an innovative and award-winning project for “quality journalism on future topics”, presents TSCNET Services and the work of a Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) for the European power transmission grid. The article is based on thorough research and a talk with the two TSCNET managing directors, Maik Neubauer and Uwe Zimmermann. Besides the development of the company, the possible consequences of the EU package “Clean Energy for All Europeans” are also discussed.

An article on TSCNET Services has been issued on the reportage platform RiffReporter (picture: TSCNET Services / Quirin Leppert)

Linkup
> Read RiffReporter article, in German (html)

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Coupling of renewables and PtG for climate targets

11.12.2018

In order to achieve ambitious climate targets, a rapid expansion of renewable energy generation is essential. The German market still has great offshore potential in this respect. However, regenerative expansion makes no sense if the corresponding transport or storage capacities are lacking. TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), is already known for its sustained efforts to significantly expand the transmission infrastructure in its control area as environmentally friendly as possible. But the TSO is also very active in the development of storage concepts, just consider, for example, the storage potential of the North Sea Wind Power Hub project or the “ELEMENT ONE” power-to-gas (PtG) pilot plant.

Together with Siemens and Shell, both global players in their respective fields, Tennet is now making additional efforts to promote the renewables as well as PtG. The three companies are convinced that green hydrogen will play a decisive role in the future energy mix as the basis for many power-to-X applications, which are technologies for storage and other uses of surplus electricity. TenneT, Siemens and Shell have thus commissioned a study on a new type of tender model for offshore wind capacity. This model intends to link the awarding of contracts for the operation of offshore plants to the production of hydrogen: The additional wind power from such facilities should not put too much strain on the onshore grid, but rather be used to generate hydrogen and even stablise the electricity grid. The green hydrogen can be transported via the gas grid and then be used in other sectors, such as industry or mobility.

Lex Hartman, Managing Director of TenneT, is determined to not squander any potential for renewable energies and convinced that PtG technologies provide flexibility, reduce the strain on the grid and make power supply more secure. “In the long term,” Mr Hartman continues, “the combination with hydrogen production can also be applied throughout Germany to other renewable energies. This advances the energy transition and helps to achieve our climate targets.”

TenneT, in cooperation with Siemens and Shell, proposes to couple offshore wind capacity tenders with PtG storage technologies (copyright photo composition by Stadtwerke Mainz)

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

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