Addendum to EXPLORE report


The European Project for Long term Real-time balancing Electricity market design (EXPLORE) is a joint venture by five TSC members: APG, the Austrian transmission system operator (TSO), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW. In cooperation with the Belgian TSO Elia, the partners have been evaluating since 2015 possibilities of integrating their respective markets for frequency restoration reserves (FRR) in view of the future requirements of the Guideline on Electricity Balancing by the European Commission.

In October 2016, the TSOs published a report on a target model for the exchange of FRR and asked stakeholders for feedback. Their comments and suggestions, as well as the TSO responses and further investigations, have now been incorporated into an addendum to the target model report.

Since two new FRR projects have been initiated this year, the EXPLORE activities are being continued within the scope of these two new projects. MARI (Manually Activated Reserves Initiative) for research on frequency restoration reserve with manual activation (mFRR) was launched in April, and PICASSO (Platform for the International Coordination of the Automatic frequency restoration process and Stable System Operation) for exploring the integration of automatic frequency restoration reserves (aFRR) followed in August.

> See TenneT press release (html)
> Open FRR Report Addendum (pdf, 1.1mb)


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PICASSO project for market integration


Transmission system operators (TSOs) from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands join forces in the “Platform for the International Coordination of the Automatic frequency restoration process and Stable System Operation” – in short: PICASSO. The project’s main objective is the integration of the respective automatic frequency restoration reserves (aFRR) balancing markets.

The TSOs signed a memorandum of understanding on the design, implementation and operation of PICASSO. Five TSC members are among the partners: The Austrian TSO APG, the Dutch-German TSO Tennet, and the German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW. The project is to be coordinated by the Belgian TSO ELIA and also includes the French TSO RTE.

The aFRR target platform is a voluntary initiative to anticipate the legally and regulatory requirements of the Guideline on Electricity Balancing, which was adopted by the European Commission in March 2017 and is expected to enter into force by the end of the year. Hence, the partner TSOs have proven to be front runners in the integration of national balancing markets. PICASSO benefits from an already existing aFRR cooperation between Austria and Germany (involving 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, TenneT, and TransnetBW). The platform is open for the participation of other countries  and scheduled for operation by 2020.

> Open joint press release (pdf, 265kb)


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Cost-effective balancing in Austria


The assiduous efforts undertaken by TSC member APG, the Austrian transmission system operator (TSO), to optimise control reserve are paying off. Since 2015, the costs for stabilising the Austrian electricity grid are decreasing significantly, and with €90m spent on control resrve in the last year, APG is able to announce a cost reduction of 37% in comparison to 2015.

The causes of this beneficial development are twofold. On a national level, several new suppliers have joined the balancing market. “The new participants in the regulatory energy market contributed to significantly more competition in this market”, explains Ulrike Baumgartner-Gabitzer, Chief Executive Officer at APG. Internationally – apart from individual agreements with neighbouring countries – APG participates in the largest European transnational cooperation on the procuration and exchange of Frequency Containment Reserve. Also of particular importance is APG’s cross-border cooperation for automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve with the four German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW. “This means that Austria is actively involved in all relevant projects and is even an initiator,” complements Thomas Karall, APG’s Chief Financial Officer.

> See APG press release, in German (html)

Picture: Lukas Dostal / Austrian Power Grid AG (APG Control Centre)


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Nordic TSOs to open RSC in February


The Nordic transmission system operators Fingrid from Finland, Statnett from Norway, Svenska Kraftnät and the Danish TSO and TSC member agreed on their meeting of 16 November 2016 on a common Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) office similar to TSCNET Services based on the system operation guideline approved by the EU member states. The four TSOs wish to intensify their cooperation in terms of regional system operation, system security and the implementation of the new Nordic market for automatic frequency restoration reserve (aFRR).

The Nordic RSC office is to be officially opened in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 1 February 2017. As a service tool of the TSOs it will provide, inter alia, transmission capacity calculations, security analyses and adequacy forecasts. The common aFFR-market will be beneficial concerning the maintaining of good frequency quality and the integration of an increasing amount of renewables into the Nordic power system.

Furthermore, the TSOs announced a “Solution report” as sequel to their “Challenges of the Nordic Power System” report. The new paper will cover aspects of transmission adequacy, generation adequacy, flexibility and inertia and is to be published in June 2017.

> See press release (html)

Picture showing Copenhagen by night (Copenhagen Media Center)


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Transnational alliance for automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve


Five TSC members, the Austrian transmission system operator (TSO) APG and the four German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT and TransnetBW, have joined forces in order to create an internal market for control reserve. Since 14 July 2016, the five TSOs form the first international cooperation for automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR) in Europe.

This Austro-German collaboration serves as a model project in view of the European Guideline on Electricity Balancing that is currently being implemented. The TSOs are already associated with the International Grid Control Cooperation whose members avoid the demand for aFRR via netting their requirements in advance. The need for expensive aFRR-measures is caused by mismatches between electricity input into the grid and electricity consumption. Effective crossborder management is beneficial for cost control as well as for grid stability.

Now the five TSOs enhance their collaborative efforts to further minimise control reserve costs. They will deploy a merit order list of balance power bids sorted by bid prices. As a result, in each case the economically most advantageous bid for aFRR will be favoured. Besides the probing of a joint procurement of aFRR in Germany and Austria, the TSC members will also take action in developing aFRR-related market rules and products.

> See joint press release of 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT Germany, and TransnetBW in English (pdf, 50.2kb)

> See joint press release in German (pdf, 50.1kb)

Picture: Montage based on stock image by Procsilas Moscas (Creative Commons)

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