Staff position: Back home to create the new


Sometimes a fresh start can also be a comeback, and this is the case with Veronika Doppelhammer, the new Program Manager for Coordinated Security Analysis (CSA) Transformation at TSCNET Services. Some ten years ago, Veronika left the world of transmission system operators (TSOs) to further expand her professional experience. Now, she returns to the TSO business by taking on a task that is most challenging and truly in need of a responsible-minded expert. In her new role as CSA Transformation Manager, Veronika will lead the further functional and IT-related developments in one of the most important service areas. In this area, our company supports its customers in identifying and managing bottlenecks and risks in the European electricity grid. The CSA services will be further extended to allow better coordination and advice. “This most important and complex venture has to be run by an absolute professional,” says Maik Neubauer, one of our Managing Directors.

Veronika was born in Bavaria and received the degree of a Dipl.-Ing. Elektrotechnik at the University of Applied Sciences in the Lower Bavarian capital of Landshut. She completed her diploma thesis as working student at the hydropower division of the Bayernwerk AG. Veronika’s first TSO experience followed in a six-month project at Technikon Pretoria (now merged into the Tshwane University of Technology) in cooperation with the South African TSO Eskom. Subsequently, the electrical engineer fulfilled various positions and management roles in energy companies ‒ such as several divisions of E.ON Energie AG and the Swiss TSO Swissgrid – and gathered substantial experience in the fields of strategy and business development, regulatory and risk management. Especially at TSCNET shareholder Swissgrid, for which Veronika worked until 2007, former colleagues are looking forward to collaborate with Veronika again.

Veronika is excited to be challenged by the new project at TSCNET Services. She is eager to get new functionalities ready in time, but always with an open eye to regulatory requirements and customer satisfaction. “I have held various positions in many areas of the energy sector, not only electricity but also gas. I worked in small start-ups and large corporations always having in mind to improve interface management,” explains Veronika. With this experience and as a part of the TSCNET management, Veronika wants to enable the (young) team of TSCNET to fully use their potential.

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Taking an active part – TSCNET Forum 2017


On an annual basis, the TSCNET Forum is building on its tradition of bringing together TSCNET staff and users to deepen our mutual understanding of one another and further develop our seamless cooperation. On 27-29 June, the TSCNET Forum 2017 will take place behind the beautiful backdrop of the Bavarian Alps at the village Fall near Lenggries to provide insight into the current and upcoming services that TSCNET offers. With a new format, this year’s Forum will be even more beneficial for all involved!

Following the valuable feedback which helps us to improve our tailor-made services, this year’s TSCNET Forum is scheduled over three days to ensure enough time is available for the productive interchange between participants. And there will indeed be a lot to talk about! The leading discussions will address the cooperation of the Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) in Europe, the upcoming software development and the rules of cooperation of the TSC TSOs – plus much more, including a lot of outdoor activities. We are looking forward to again seeing many TSCNET users in this stimulating and inspiring environment!


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Slovakian neighbourhood connected


One of the biggest benefits for TSCNET’s customers is this: Getting to know what is going on in the neighbouring national transmission grid. The more and the more precise the better. The Slovakian transmission system operator (TSO) SEPS is connected to the neighbouring TSC members ČEPS (Czechia), MAVIR (Hungary), and PSE (Poland), but did not take part in TSCNET’s most important operational forecast processes. Now this has changed. SEPS has “become operational”, as our experts put it: The TSO has been successfully connected to the AMICA system (Advanced Multisite Integral Congestion Assessment) and is now able to participate in most of the processes and services that TSC members use.

SEPS had been participating in the daily operational planning teleconferences (DOPT) via phone since 2013, but didn’t have access to TSC’s IT infrastructure. In April 2016, the negotiations and preparations for a six-month trial membership started. Last week, the Slovakian operators took part in a special training given by TSCNET, and prepared the ground for the technical go-live of the trial-phase. As a Slovak would say: Gratulujeme! Congratulations!


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Seamless performance upgrade with “AMICA”


The common tool for data exchange and security assessments (CTDS) is the key to effective day ahead, intraday, and real time grid security analyses for the customers of TSCNET. After more than two years of preparation, TSCNET’s IT Services & Development team now succeeded in deploying the youngest release.

The new version offers a performance upgrade for the business processes. Part of the existing software architecture and the hardware setup were redesigned. This upgrade significantly shortens computation time of contingency and load-flow analysis and increases overall performance of the solution considerably. This shortens the overall daily and intraday operation and supports faster recognition of security breaches allowing TSCNET operators to act accordingly and to coordinate the planning of remedial actions across Europe.

Speedy roll-out
Hand in hand with the vendor, Unicorn Systems, TSCNET managed all technical challenges and organised a seamless roll-out of the new version to its customers, the TSC member TSOs. The whole deployment process for all customers could be finished within a few days.

Following the redesign and major performance upgrade of the tool and the successful deployment, the management of TSCNET decided to use this event to re-brand the tool to “AMICA” (advanced multisite integral congestion assessment module). “Success depends upon previous preparation,” said Confucius. “AMICA” gives proof.

Faster and future-proof
Siem Bruijns, TSCNET’s Managing Director responsible for Operations and Development, commented: “This upgrade improves system performance and shortens computation time measurably. This allows operators to identify potential problems for a common grid operation soon enough to decide on remedial actions. All that helps us to fulfil our main goal: Secure electricity supply for more than 180 million European citizens.”

Alexander Wirth, Managing Director for Administration and Organisation and responsible for the IT development at TSCNET, stated: “The results of this major upgrade successfully demonstrate the effectiveness of our long-term IT strategy and the excellent cooperation with our IT vendor. In the last two years, we worked hard to jointly re-design the software architecture and the hardware setup. That’s why the management decided to re-brand the tool.”

Miroslav Hasek of Unicorn Systems added: “TSC is our long term customer and we are fully committed to deliver our services to support them in their primary goals. This release was a big step and we believe to deliver high quality services to TSC also in the future.”

Illustration using a picture by Jacey O Samsel (Creative Commons)

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