Connect+ for data exchange

14.06.2019

The four German transmission system operators (TSOs), the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW, together with 16 distribution system operators (DSOs) have launched the “Connect+” project to jointly implement the legal requirements of the German Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (Netzausbaubeschleunigungsgesetz – NABEG). The project is a reaction to the increased need for coordination due to the current legislative amendments and intended to facilitate a more transparent exchange of data between grid operators and market participants.

German legislation has specified that, in future, all facilities for the generation or storage of electrical energy with a nominal capacity of 100kW or more must be utilised to prevent foreseeable bottlenecks in the grid. The modified conditions for redispatch apply from 1 October 2021. As the present feed-in management of the grid operators only reacts to acute congestions, an even more intensive cooperation between TSOs and DSOs is required in the future.

The new processes to be developed and introduced within the time frame pose a challenge for all grid operators. In the “Connect+” project, TSOs and DSOs want to develop uniform solutions for data distribution to harmonise data exchange between market participants and operators for congestion management. In a first step, essential specifications such as interfaces and formats are developed and defined.

The four German TSOs and 16 DSOs launch the data exchange project “Connect+” for congestion management

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

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Second go-live wave of XBID

13.06.2019

The successful go-live of XBID, the European cross-border Single Intraday Coupling (SIDC) solution, on 12/13 June 2018 was a significant step towards a single integrated continent-wide intraday market. Such an integrated market increases the overall efficiency of intraday trade through effective competition, increased liquidity and more efficient utilisation of generation resources across Europe. Today the first anniversary of XBID is celebrated and over 16 million trades have been executed since its launch.

The SIDC partners look back on a successful first year of operation with a stable and robust system performance as well as a high and growing number of trades across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. The integration of seven additional countries into the SIDC region is expected in the fourth quarter of 2019. A pre-launch event for the second wave is planned for the beginning of October 2019 and a trial period will also be arranged with the market parties. The countries for this second go-live wave are Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia.

The TSOs already cooperating in XBID include the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, TenneT, and TransnetBW as well as the TSCNET client Creos from Luxembourg. Further shareholders are to follow with the second wave, namely ČEPS, ELES, HOPS, MAVIR, PSE, and Transelectrica.

XBID, the SIDC solution for a single integrated European intraday market, celebrates its first anniversary

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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Amprion presents CWE market report

03.06.2019

Amprion, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), has published its market report for the period 2015 to 2018. In this comprehensive document, the TSCNET shareholder investigates the development of the electricity market in the Central Western Europe (CWE) region using data from Flow-Based Market Coupling (FBMC). The CWE countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) implemented FBMC in May 2015, which allows TSOs to allocate cross-border capacity and maximise market efficiency without compromising grid stability. This is due to the inclusion of the entire regional network in the coupling of electricity markets.

The control area of Amprion is a central hub for cross-border electricity trading in the CWE region. With its transmission capacities, the TSO can export up to eight GW of electricity at peak times and thus generate more than half of Germany’s total export performance. Transmission via the Amprion grid thus also supports security of supply in neighbouring countries, especially in critical situations such as winter 2016/2017.

Amprion’s analysis shows that the integration of the CWE markets is already well advanced and continues to progress. At the same time, the growing difference between positive and negative price peaks on the electricity exchanges also highlights the challenge of the highly volatile supply of renewable energies. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Brick, Chief Commercial Officer and CFO of Amprion, comments: “The mutual dependency in Europe on system security will continue to rise. We are therefore doing everything physically possible to connect the national markets and networks even better.”

Amprion has published a comprehensive market report for the CWE region

Linkup
> See Amprion press release (html)
> Open Amprion market report (pdf, 3,43MB)

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Core CCR project meeting hosted by HOPS

20.05.2019

Sixteen transmission system operators (TSOs) from the heart of Europe are participating in the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR) project in order to implement a decision taken by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) in November 2016 to merge the existing regional initiatives of Central Eastern and Central Western Europe into the European core region. These TSOs – including the twelve TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, ČEPS, ELES, HOPS, MAVIR, PSE, SEPS, TenneT, Transelectrica, and TransnetBW – are strongly committed to implementing all CCR-related obligations in accordance with the respective network codes and guidelines of the European Commission.

Last week, the Croatian TSO HOPS organised a two-day project team meeting with representatives of all 16 Core CCR TSOs to calculate long-term cross-border transmission capacities compliant with the specifications on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM). As one of the two Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) for Core CCR TSOs, TSCNET Services was also part of the meeting. The concrete objective of the meeting in the Croatian capital of Zagreb was to prepare a proposal for an appropriate calculation methodology. This proposal will be open for public consultation from 10 June 2019. During the meeting participants also visited the HOPS control centre.

HOPS hosted a Core CCR project meeting in Zagreb (picture: HOPS)

Linkup
> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)

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Ultranet progresses

17.05.2019

The Ultranet substation on the grounds of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant (which will be completely shut down by 31 December 2019) in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg is to become one of the most significant power hubs in Germany’s future energy landscape. Here, the supra-regional DC line Ultranet will be connected to the regional 380kV grid of TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). Ultranet will transfer wind energy generated in the northwest of the country to the industrially highly developed southwest. The European Project of Common Interest (PCI) is jointly carried out by TransnetBW and further TSCNET shareholder Amprion.

Last July, construction work began in Philippsburg with the groundbreaking ceremony for a new gas-insulated switchgear. Now the work on the new DC substation is being initiated, as TransnetBW officially started the filling of the construction site with a symbolic first excavator operation on 16 May. “This is a special day for the ULTRANET DC project and for the energy transition,” declared Dr. Werner Götz, Chairman of the TransnetBW Executive Board, to around 50 invited representatives from politics, business and society. Dr. Götz continued that now a “visible sign for the progress of the project and our aim to bring renewable electricity to Philippsburg and the region” had been set.

In the meantime, the project partner Amprion has also made progress for Ultranet, albeit in a different domain: In keeping with the motto that it is better to talk to each other than about each other, the TSO on 15 and 16 May has invited municipalities, specialist authorities and citizens’ initiatives to exchange information on the Ultranet planning status in the Rheingau-Taunus and Main-Taunus districts. A first public participation procedure had earlier led to 15 alternative routes in the respective districts, which Amprion examined in more detail. Based on the additional expert exchange, Amprion wants to better integrate the local knowledge and expertise of the participants for the comparison of variants and their environmental impacts.

TransnetBW has started preparing the construction site for the Ultranet substation in Philippsburg (picture: TransnetBW)

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

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Retrospect on Innogrid2020+

15.05.2019

This year’s Innogrid2020+ took place in Brussels on 13 and 14 May. Jointly organised by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and the European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids (EDSO), the motto of the prestigious annual event for 2019 was “Connecting Physics and Digits: Power Platforms on the Rise”. So, it was about physical networks and their permeation with information and communication technologies, transforming the energy system into a cyberphysical system. Among the presented projects during Innogrid2020+ were several, in which TSCNET shareholders participate: “Crossbow” with Croatian transmission system operator (TSO) HOPS, “DA/RE” by German TSO TransnetBW, “FutureFlow” (ELES from Slovenia, APG from Austria, MAVIR from Hungary, and Transelectrica from Romania), “MIGRATE” (Amprion from Germany, ELES, and Dutch-German TSO TenneT), and SINCRO.GRID (ELES and HOPS). Besides, Yves Zumwald, CEO of Swissgrid, took part as speaker in the “CEO business track panel on innovation”.

In addition to informative sessions on disruptive technologies, innovation policy or targets for 2030, the event hosts also presented the 2nd European Power Network Awards during Innogrid2020+. The first winner is the Signposting Information project by the British Distribution System Operator (DSO) WPG, which aims to open new neutral markets around flexibility. The second winner is the digital platform “cyberNOC” by CyberGRID, a specialist in the development of virtual power plant solutions. cyberNOC stands for the seamless and secure integration of battery energy storage systems and electric vehicles with aggregators, electricity markets, and grid operators.

On the second day of Innogrid2020+, ENTSO-E and EDSO used the public interest in the event to present six recommendations on energy network innovation to the European Commission in the forefront of the Copenhagen Energy Infrastructure Forum on 23 and 24 May. These recommendations include the promotion of TSO-DSO cooperation, adequate support for research, development and innovation, of sectoral coupling and digitisation, or the linking of EU funding programmes.

This year’s Innogrid2020+ focused on the digitisation of power networks (picture of presentation by Yves Zumwald, CEO of Swissgrid: EDSO)

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Significant progress for ALEGrO

03.05.2019

October 2018 saw the start of construction of ALEGrO, the “Aachen Liège Electricity Grid Overlay”, which is the first direct interconnector of the German and Belgian electricity grids. With a transmission capacity of 1,000MW, ALEGrO will increase cross-border electricity flows and, at the same time, supply security in the western German region of Aachen-Cologne. The European Project of Common Interest (PCI) is realised jointly by TSCNET shareholder Amprion, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), and the Belgian TSO Elia. Only a few months after the start, Amprion can already report some great strides in the construction work.

Underground cabling is used for the entire ALEGrO route (approx. 49km in Belgium and 41km in Germany) and two new converters are being installed at each end of ALEGrO at the substations Oberzier in Germany and Lixhe in Belgium. The coordination effort for the German-Belgian power bridge, which crosses numerous roads, waters or forests, is considerable: Explosive ordnance clearance and the demolition of remnants of world war bunkers are daily business, but of course archaeological investigations and nature conservation are also part of today’s construction standard.

Several teams are working simultaneously at different points along the route in Germany, laying cable conduits into which the conductor cables will later be drawn. 5km of the conduit system have already been completed and 25km are currently under construction. At the Oberzier substation, a hall is currently being erected to house the converter technology. Work is also proceeding well in Belgium, and according to current planning ALEGrO should be operational by the end of 2020.

Amprion is making good progress with the construction of ALEGrO (picture: screenshot taken from video “Elia ALEGrO Project – Reportage”, Elia, YouTube)

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

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Map of German PtG plants

25.04.2019

With Power-to-Gas (PtG) technologies, sustainable electricity can be converted into gas and then stored in the existing gas infrastructure, transported and provided as needed – independent of the natural volatility of wind and solar energy. Forecasts up to 2050 indicate that comprehensive and effective climate protection is not possible without PtG. The “Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches” (German Association of the Gas and Water Sector – DVGW), an independent technical-scientific network for all questions related to gas and water supply, has published an updated map giving an overview of all PtG projects in Germany, including both completed and planned facilities.

The DGWV map shows that the number of PtG plants in Germany as well as their installed capacity is constantly increasing compared to previous statistics. 35 PtG plants are currently in operation with a total capacity of around 30MW. However, most of them are pilot or demonstration projects on a small scale and serve research purposes. Industrial-scale plants are still the exception, also for the 16 projects in planning.

Nevertheless, total PtG capacity will increase significantly in the future (estimated at 273MW), mainly due to two 100MW projects being implemented by two TSCNET shareholders: Amprion, one the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), and the Dutch-German TSO TenneT are pursuing the two most powerful sector coupling projects currently underway in Germany: “hybridge” and “ELEMENT ONE” which are planned at two different sites in the German federal state of Lower Saxony. According to current planning, “ELEMENT ONE” will be gradually operational by 2022 and “hybridge” will be fully operational by 2023.

The German gas and water sector association DVGW has published an upgraded map of PtG facilities in Germany (picture: edited screenshot of video “Power to Gas” by Thyssengas)

Linkup
> See DVGW press release, in German (html)
> Open PtG Plant Map, in German (pdf, 752kb)
> Visit hybridge website, in German (html)
> Visit ELEMENT ONE website, in German (html)

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Flow-based market coupling ready for Core CCR

18.04.2019

The European Commission Regulation on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM) specifies the implementation of Flow-Based Market Coupling (FBMC) for day-ahead electricity trading in the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR) comprising Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The Core CCR transmission system operators (TSOs) include twelve TSCNET shareholders: 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, ČEPS, ELES, HOPS, MAVIR, PSE, SEPS, TenneT, Transelectrica, and TransnetBW.

The partners of the Core FBMC project are to establish the coupling of all Core CCR borders by means of a Flow-Based Capacity Calculation Methodology (CCM) developed in accordance with the CACM Regulation. The market design for the FBMC implementation has now been finalised and FBMC is currently applied within the Single Day-Ahead Coupling (SDAC) in Central Western Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). The rest of the Core CCR is to follow.

Flow-Based Market Coupling in the Core CCR is ready for implementation

Linkup
> See Amprion press release (html)
> See APG market news release (html)
> See PSE press release (html)
> See TransnetBW news release (html)

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Second draft of revised German GDP

16.04.2019

In early February of this year, the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) and TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW had submitted the first draft of the new 2019 version of their “Grid Development Plan (GDP) 2030” together with the Offshore GDP to the German Federal Network Agency. Both GDPs were also published for a four-week public consultation. The total of 906 comments and proposals on both GDPs have been incorporated into the second draft of the two GDPs, whenever purposeful and reasonable. This second draft has now been forwarded to the Agency and published on the joint GDP website.

While all the different scenarios of the GDP 2030 meet the official German target of 65 percent for renewable energies in gross electricity consumption, they differ in terms of technologies as well as storage and flexibility options. The TSOs respond in the GDP to the increase in the required transport capacity due to the gap in the German electricity market with the renewable generation mainly in the north and the consumption centres in the south and west. For the second draft of the GDP 2030, the TSOs have taken greater account of the possible German coal exit to ensure that the grid development measures identified in the scenarios are appropriate even in the case of an early and complete phase-out.

In all scenarios for 2030, the transmission capacity of the DC connections amounts to a total of 12GW, while the concrete figures for the need for grid reinforcements (2750 to 2800km) and new construction measures (1600 to 1700km) differ slightly. In the second draft of GDP, the TSOs carried out a cost-benefit analysis for a total of eight interconnectors and a reassessment of system stability. This analysis reveals a considerable need for reactive power compensation systems. As a result, the costs for onshore measures in scenario B 2030 increase from €52bn to €61bn compared to the first draft. The Network Agency will now evaluate the revised draft and adapt its own planning, which then must be confirmed by the Federal Government in the official Federal Requirements Plan.

The four German TSOs have published the second draft of the GDP 2030, version 2019 (picture: Amprion)

Linkup
> See 50Hertz press release (html)
> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
> See TenneT press release (html)
> See TransnetBW press release (html)
> Visit the GDP website (html)

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