XBID implementation project launched

31.08.2017

The Cross-Border Intraday (XBID) initiative is a joint initiative by power exchanges and transmission system operators (TSOs) from eleven European countries, to create a joint integrated cross-border intraday market. Now TSOs and nominated electricity market operators (NEMOs) from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Croatia including six TSC members (50Hertz, APG, ČEPS, HOPS, MAVIR, and TenneT) have agreed to form a local implementation project named LIP 15. Together they want to implement continuous cross-border trading and to introduce implicit allocation of cross-border transmission intraday capacities on the Czech-German, Czech-Austrian, Austrian-Hungarian, Hungarian-Romanian, and Hungarian-Croatian borders fulfilling the requirements set by the EU-wide cross-border intraday XBID project.

The single Intraday cross-zonal market solution will be based on a common IT system linking the local trading systems operated by the NEMOs as well as the available cross-zonal transmission capacity provided by the TSOs.  The XBID IT solution is expected to be technically ready by the end of 2017. In the sequel, the local implementation projects will make their final go-live preparations.

> Open joint press release (pdf, 161kb)

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Grand visit at ČEPS

29.07.2017

The management of TSC member ČEPS, the Czech transmission system operator (TSO), was honoured to welcome high ranking visitors in its headquarters in the Czech capital of Prague. Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, and Jiří Havlíček, the Minister of Industry and Trade, obtained information on the operation of the national transmission system directly in the TSO’s main dispatcher’s hall.

The emergency availability of critical infrastructure was the visitors’ prime interest. Since a hassle-free grid operation is mandatory for the functioning of the whole society, nearly two hundred elements of the transmission system belong to the national critical infrastructure, some of which are also part of the European critical infrastructure. Jan Kalina, Chairman of the ČEPS Board of Directors, commented: “We are sharing real-time information with TSOs in neighboring countries as well as distributors, so that our systems are consistent and robust.”

In the ensuing discussion of the government members with the ČEPS representatives, also questions of regulation were addressed. Prime Minister Sobotka and Minister Havlíček assured to provide the regulatory framework for the development of the transmission system and to allow the fulfillment of the ČEPS investment plan.

> See ČEPS press release (html)

Picture: ČEPS

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MARI workshop in Brussels

13.07.2017

The European cross-border balancing project MARI (Manually Activated Reserves Initiative) was established in this year’s April. The project’s aim is to implement a European platform for balancing energy from Frequency Restoration Reserves with manual activation (mFRR) in accordance with the EU Commission Guideline on Electricity Balancing. Eight TSC members are among the total of 19 transmission system operators (TSOs) being associated in MARI: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), Energinet.dk (Denmark), Swissgrid (Switzerland), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany, 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW.

Already at a very early stage of the project, all MARI partners consider stakeholder communication and feedback to be highly important in order to develop a liquid and user-friendly platform. Therefore the MARI parties invite interested stakeholders to a project workshop on 4 September 2017 in the premises of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) in Brussels, Belgium. Since the number of participants is limited, the event will also be broadcasted via webcast for registered users.

> See TenneT press release (html, with registration details)

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New ENTSO-E executive board completed

29.06.2017

The assembly of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has elected its new Vice President and Board members on 28 June in Brussels, Belgium. The vice presidency was assigned to Hervé Laffaye, Deputy CEO at RTE, the French transmission system operator (TSO).

Mr Laffaye completes ENTSO-E’s new leadership team. Already in March, Ben Voorhorst, COO at TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO, and Bente Hagem from the Norwegian TSO Statnett, had been elected President and Chair of the ENTSO-E Board, respectively. Now all the three leading figures have officially taken office.

The assembly welcomed three new entrants to the ENTSO-E Board which are representatives from TSC members: Rainer Joswig, COO at German TSO TransnetBW, Tomasz Sikorski, Vice President and COO at Polish TSO PSE, and Yves Zumwald, CEO at Swiss TSO Swissgrid. They all take over responsibility in challenging times, and Mr. Joswig explained the current task of the European TSOs as “implementing a pan-European energy transition while maintaining power supply security”. Re-elected to the ENTSO-E Board are Zbynek Boldis, member of the Board of Directors of Czech TSO ČEPS, and Kamilla Csomai, CEO at Hungarian TSO MAVIR.

The new ENTSO-E Board will gather for a special meeting on new strategies in September. The main focus lies on the implementation of the European network codes and the future European power system as mapped out by the European Commission in the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package.

> See Swissgrid press release, (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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PSTs stabilise the Czech grid

31.05.2017

The first quarter of 2017 was noteworthy for TSC member ČEPS: The Czech transmission system operator (TSO) put two technically advanced phase-shifting transformers (PSTs) with phase angle regulation into operation in mid-January. Since then, the PSTs have been regulating electricity flows from the eastern part of Germany, thus contributing not only to the stability of the national transmission system, but also preventing the Czech TSO from performing expensive remedial measures.

Consequently, ČEPS was able to save up tens of millions of Czech korunas (CZK). The TSO increased its profit before tax by CZK 235m (about €8.9m) compared to the first quarter of last year and achieved an overall profit of CZK 948m (about €35.9m). In March 2017, the last of altogether four PSTs arrived at the Bohemian substation in Hradec u Kadaně, and all of them are expected to be in full operation by the end of June. Then, ČEPS will be able to transfer the maximum amount of electricity through its transmission system without compromising on the Czech supply security. Jan Kalina, Chairman of the ČEPS Board of Directors, explains that the regulatory parameters of the PSTs will be set up in coordination with foreign partners at the pre-launch phase. Prime objective is to ensure “the operational reliability of electricity networks throughout the region”.

In the first quarterly period of 2017, a total of 16,933 GWh of electric energy was transferred through the national transmission system. ČEPS can also report a historic high load on the power system: On 24 January, the load was going up to 11,769MW, thereby topping the previous record load from February 2012. “The new historical maximum was reached due to a very cold weather”, comments Miroslav Šula, Head of the System Operation Management section of ČEPS. The construction of the new 420kV Vernéřov substation near Kadaň in the region of Ústí nad Labem is also worth mentioning. Since investing into the Czech grid extension also means contributing to the transnational power system on a pan-European level, ČEPS benefited from EU grants of more than €4m for Projects of Common Interest (PCI). The ČEPS investement plan thus respects the TSO’s national responsibilities and also the “fulfillment of European objectives with regard to the safety of the whole interconnected system”, concludes Jan Kalina.

> See ČEPS press release (html)

Picture: ČEPS

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Satisfying year for ČEPS

11.04.2017

TSC member ČEPS, the Czech transmission system operator (TSO), has every reason to be content with the business year 2016. With a profit of CZK2.072bn (about €78m) before taxes, the company achieved an increase of CZK56m (about €2.1m) in comparison to 2015. As in previous years, ČEPS has continued its engagement in developing the Czech transmission system also in 2016 and spent about CZK4.7bn (about €176.8) on infrastructural measures. As far as the core TSO business is concerned, ČEPS transferred a total of 62,914GWh of electric energy through the national transmission system in 2016.

Last year’s profit increase is mainly due to reduced costs for redispatch measures. Jan Kalina, Chairman of the ČEPS Board of Directors, is “satisfied with the results”, and explains that ČEPS “anticipated more significant expenses associated with international redispatching, however, this scenario did not occur”. The new phase-shifting transformers in the northern Bohemian substation in Hradec u Kadaně – partially delivered in 2016 and expected to be in full operation by the end of June 2017 – will be additionally helpful in this matter since they are capable of limiting power overflows in the Czech transmission system. Another significant contribution to the grid extension in the Czech Republic is the completion of the new 440kV line from Krasíkov to Horní Životice linking the Olomouc to the Moravian-Silesian region.

In order to support financing the infrastructural investments, ČEPS issued bonds with a total face value of CZK500m (about €19m). The bond issue which is quoted on the Regulated Market of the Prague Stock Exchange is part of the TSOs long-term strategy, comments Jan Kalina.

> See ČEPS press release (html)

Picture: Screenshot taken from video “Výstavba zdvojeného vedení V410/419” (ČEPS, YouTube)

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Framework set for MARI

09.04.2017

The “Manually Activated Reserves Initiative” – in short: MARI – is a new significant European cross-border balancing project. On April 5, a total of nineteen European transmission system operators (TSOs) signed a memorandum of understanding on a new European platform for Frequency Restoration Reserve with manual activation (mFRR). Among the associated TSOs are eight TSC members: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), Energinet.dk (Denmark), Swissgrid (Switzerland), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW.

After the approval of the EU Commission regulation Guideline on Electricity Balancing earlier this year, innovative platforms for the coordination of energy exchange have become necessary. The memorandum maps out common guiding principles on which the respective TSOs already had been working since 2016. Now the participants take concrete actions in view of the design, implementation and operation of the mFRR-platform. They will do so in close cooperation, in order to consolidate a single and shared concept.

Everybody involved is deeply commited to the mFRR development, so the TSOs are very confident not only to meet the requirements of the EU guideline, but also to increase supply security and balancing efficiency. If everything goes as planned, the platform should be ready for operation in 2020.

> See ČEPS press release (html)
> See Swissgrid press release (html)
> See TenneT press release, in German (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

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Long term transmission rights in the Core CCR

14.03.2017

The European Core capacity calculation region (CCR) consists of sixteen central European transmission system operators (TSOs). Ten TSC members are among the partner TSOs: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), ELES (Slovenia), HOPS (Croatia), MAVIR (Hungary), PSE (Poland), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW. They are supported by other Central European TSOs, such as SEPS from Slovakia.

The respective TSOs have mapped out a proposal for the regional design of long-term transmission rights in accordance with Article 31 of Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/1719. This includes the implementation of the first version of the Flow Based Intraday Capacity Calculation methodology in the Core CCR. Additionaly, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has opened a public consultation on the TSO proposal for stakeholders and concerned parties. The consultation will be open until 10 April.

> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)
> See SEPS press release (html)
> See TenneT press release (html)
> Open Core CCR TSO’s proposal document (pdf, 229kb)
> Access to ENTSO-E consultation webform (html)

Picture: Edited detail of an illustration by Arnaud Gilon / European Union, EC-Audiovisual Service

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The last of four PSTs arrived in Czechia

13.03.2017

For the Bohemian substation in Hradec u Kadaně, a set of altogether four high performing phase-shifting transformers (PSTs) was ordered by Czech transmission system operator (TSO) and TSC member ČEPS. The PSTs are intended for establishing two new interconnectors between the Czech transmission grid and the transmission system in the eastern part of Germany operated by further TSC member 50Hertz. Three of the PSTs reached Czechia in June 2016, but unfortunately the delivery of the fourth was delayed due to not passing the ČEPS acceptance tests. Now it finally has arrived in Hradec u Kadaně, and ČEPS expects all four of the PSTs to be in full operation by the end of June.

Two of the technically advanced PSTs with phase angle regulation have already been commissioned in January 2017, regulating the electricity flow on the first interconnector ever since. “The partial commissioning helped minimise the use of expensive emergency corrective measures,” explains Jan Kalina, Chairman of the ČEPS Board of Directors. The PSTs allow ČEPS to transfer the maximum amount of electricity without compromising on the supply security. In combination with similar devices on the other side of the Czech-German and at the Polish-German border, the PSTs will ensure the stability of the transmission grid and of transit electricity flows in East-Central Europe.

The total investment costs for the PSTs including all the necessary supplementary measures amount to a maximum of CZK 2bn (about €74m). Jan Kalina comments on this considerable large investment: “The costs for the construction of these transformers are high, but a possible widespread power failure in the transmission system would cause far greater damage.”

> See ČEPS press release (html)

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Core CCR expedites market integration

21.02.2017

A total of sixteen central European transmission system operators (TSOs) cooperates in creating a European core capacity calculation region (CCR). This considerable high number of participants results in a Core CCR covering the largest part of central continental Europe. Among the associated TSOs are ten TSC members: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), ELES (Slovenia), HOPS (Croatia), MAVIR (Hungary), PSE (Poland), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany, 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW.

CCRs are conceived as geographical areas in which coordinate cross-border capacity calculation, capacity allocation and congestion management is applied. With their CCR cooperation, the TSOs follow a decision by the European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) from November 2016 on merging regional coordinations to an enlarged European core region in order to promote the integration of Europe’s energy markets.

The fulfillment of CCR-related obligations in accordance to the respective European Commission Network Codes implies that the TSOs are committed to the developement of common methodologies for three principal tasks: day-ahead flow-based capacity calculation of cross-border transmission, capacity calculation for intraday and long-term time-frames, and the coordination of redispatching and countertrading to minimise congestions. Common methodologies in these fields will ease cross-border trade and optimise transmission capacities without endangering the security of supply.

> See ČEPS press release (html)
> See TenneT press release (html)
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Visit Core CCR project page (html)

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