COBRAcable market launch on 7 September

02.09.2019

After three years of construction, including the laying of the submarine cables as well as the construction of two onshore converter stations, and a successful test phase earlier this year, COBRAcable will be available for the electricity market as of the delivery day of 7 September, which is exactly on schedule. The first direct connection between the electricity markets of Denmark and the Netherlands was jointly realised and is operated by the two TSCNET shareholders Energinet, the Danish transmission system operator (TSO), and TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO.

The high-voltage DC cable with a length of about 325km has a capacity of 700MW. The Netherlands can import more sustainable electricity from Denmark through COBRAcable, mainly wind energy. In addition, the cable provides Dutch capacity on a structural basis for the Danish electricity grid, thus ensuring security of supply in Denmark, which of course also works the other way round. Moreover, the cable connection is designed in such a way that an offshore wind farm can be connected at a later date, so that COBRAcable contributes to a sustainable European energy landscape.

The COBRAcable interconnector of Energinet and Tennet is available to the market from 7 September (picture: screenshot taken from TenneT-video “First pile COBRAcable”, YouTube)

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TenneT on track for the energy transition

31.07.2019

Highly satisfactory business results and maintenance of the high level of 99.99% security of supply, are hallmarks of the half year report of the Dutch-German TSCNET shareholder Tennet. The latter is a growing challenge for the transmission system operator (TSO) because of the increased feed-in of volatile renewable energy. But above all, the report illustrates the commitment of the TSO to the European energy transition.

To take further steps in shaping the energy system of the future, TenneT has launched a series of strategic initiatives and partnerships to join forces across sectors. TenneT is participating in a German power-to-gas pilot project and is working together with regional grid operators and market partners on smart solutions to optimise the use of existing electricity infrastructure. The TSO is also involved in blockchain pilots to create flexibility for balancing the power system from decentralised sources.

TenneT has further strengthened its position as a leading offshore TSO. In Germany, TenneT has awarded DolWin 5, the 14th offshore grid connection. TenneT will increase its current offshore transmission capacity from 6,232MW in the German North Sea to almost 9GW by 2024. In the Netherlands, too, the development of the offshore grid with the Borssele Alpha and Beta projects is on schedule. TenneT intends to provide a total of 10.6GW of connection capacity for Dutch offshore wind farms by 2030. The TSO is also carrying out several onshore projects to ensure the transport of the growing amount of green electricity and thus security of supply in its control areas. Important interconnecting projects are the NordLink cable connection, which is currently being built to directly link the German and Norwegian markets for the first time. The COBRAcable between the Netherlands and Denmark has “landed” at the Dutch shore and will go into operation this year.

These developments are complemented by solid and impressive figures: Underlying operating result (EBIT) rose from €362m (first half of 2018) to €407m in the first half of 2019. €1,094m (first half of 2018: €904m) were invested in the Dutch and German high-voltage grids (of which €612m in Germany) and a total of €1.75bn green bonds were successfully issued. Manon van Beek, CEO of TenneT, comments on the report: “We have embarked on an irreversible transition to a sustainable society and a new energy system. This requires investments, not only in new electricity connections, but also in innovations and digitalisation. We have to move to holistic energy system thinking and also work on solutions to make better use of the existing high-voltage grids. We are convinced that this is the way forward to limit social costs and at the same time maintain a very high security of supply.”

TenneT presents its half year report 2019 (picture: TenneT)

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> Open Half year report 2019 (pdf, 803kb)

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Imminent test operation for COBRAcable

24.06.2019

COBRAcable, the first direct interconnection between the electricity markets of Denmark and the Netherlands, is a joint project of the two TSCNET shareholders Energinet, the Danish transmission system operator (TSO), and TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO. Since spring, the partner TSOs have been preparing the commercial operation of COBRAcable. TenneT and Energinet have now launched an Urgent Market Messages (UMM) site for the commissioning of COBRAcable, which is scheduled to take place between 3 July 2019 and 6 September 2019.

A total of around 30 individual tests with different energy charges in the respective transport directions are planned. It is expected that the full capacity of COBRAcable will be available for the day ahead and intraday markets from 7 September. TenneT and Energinet then will offer financial transmission rights on COBRAcable at monthly and annual auctions. The first auction is expected to take place after a full month of stable operation, so probably the auction for November 2019, which will be held in October.

By promoting the exchange of surplus wind energy, COBRAcable will improve the cohesion of the European transmission system and the integration of the electricity market. It will also make a sustainable contribution to the low carbon energy future by allowing future offshore wind farms in the North Sea to be hooked up to the DC interconnector.

Energinet and Tennet will carry out individual tests of COBRAcable as of 3 July (picture: screenshot taken from TenneT video “COBRAcable Cable Pull Fano Denmark Film”, YouTube)

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> See Energinet press release (html)
> Visit REMIT UMM site (html)

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Preparations for market inclusion of COBRAcable

15.03.2019

COBRAcable will be the first direct link between the electricity markets of Denmark and the Netherlands. It is a joint project of the two transmission system operators (TSOs) and TSCNET shareholders Energinet from Denmark and TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO. By increasing the exchange of surplus wind energy, the DC interconnector is to improve the cohesion of the European transmission system and the integration of the electricity market. COBRAcable also makes a sustainable contribution to the low-carbon energy future by providing the opportunity to hook up future North Sea offshore wind farms to the connection. The entire cable route comprises 329km, of which 307km are offshore and 22km onshore. Since two cables are laid in parallel, the total length of the cables is 658km.

COBRAcable reached the Dutch shore at the Eemshaven connection point in November 2018 and will be commissioned this year. Now the two TSOs are preparing the commercial operation of COBRAcable scheduled for the third quarter of 2019. The concrete measures are the inclusion of COBRAcable in the day ahead and intraday market coupling systems on 16 April 2019 and in the market coupling results on the following day, each with an allocated capacity of zero. The objective of this is to test the relevant IT systems and prepare for a successful launch of commercial operations later in the year.

Energinet and Tennet carry out a test inclusion of COBRAcable in the market coupling (picture: screenshot taken from video “COBRAcable kommer i land ved Eemshaven”, Energinet – Vimeo)

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TenneT presents Annual Report

21.02.2019

The transition to significantly more solar and wind energy in the power grid continues to have a substantial impact on the business operations of TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). The apparent progress made by TenneT in this respect is reflected in the TSO’s just published Integrated Annual Report 2018, which is accompanied by the Green Finance Report 2018. To further advance the energy transition, TenneT focuses on the innovation and optimisation of the existing transmission system as well as on major national and international grid expansions. Manon van Beek, CEO at TenneT, refers to the necessity “to expand and reinforce our grids both onshore and offshore” and further explains: “We must also use the capacity of this infrastructure better, more flexibly and efficiently with the help of technology.”

TenneT again achieved a very good financial result in 2018. On an underlying revenue basis of €4.2bn, the TSO invested €2.3bn (2017: €1.8bn) in the energy transition and security of supply, with remarkable success, as grid availability in 2018 was 99.9988% within TenneT’s control area. And apart from the ensured reliability of the current transmission system, TenneT also wants to guarantee security of supply in the future. Since the energy future cannot be realised without inventive concepts, TenneT was and will be very active in innovation research for a flexible and affordable energy system based on solar and wind energy as well as green hydrogen. Several research projects are currently underway with renowned partners from industry and science.

Especially in terms of wind energy, TenneT is setting standards by reaching a new milestone in Germany and bringing almost 17TWh of offshore wind energy ashore in 2018. TenneT’s total connection capacity for offshore wind farms grew to 6,232MW. The BorWin3 and DolWin6 projects, which will be completed in 2019 and 2023 respectively, will further increase capacity to more than 8,000MW in Germany, while the development of an offshore grid in the Dutch North Sea is also progressing as planned.

Another important operational objective of TenneT is the further integration of the Northwest European electricity market, which is essential for the success of the European energy targets. One of TenneT’s current projects is the Doetinchem-Wesel link between the Netherlands and Germany, which went into operation in September 2018. In addition, the COBRAcable subsea connection between the Netherlands and Denmark has “landed” at the Eemshaven connection point and will be commissioned this year. Also worth noting is the NordLink cable connection currently under construction, which will be the first direct link between the German and Norwegian markets. The 624km interconnector is expected to come on stream in 2021. TenneT will then be operating 16 interconnectors in total.

TenneT presents its Integrated Annual Report 2018 and Green Finance Report 2018 (picture: screenshot taken from video “50 Hertz – The challenge of continuous electricity”, TenneT – Youtube)

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> See TenneT press release, (html)
> Visit Integrated Annual Report 2018 website (html)
> Open Green Finance Report 2018 (pdf, 2.84MB)

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TenneT reports on a prolific 2017

23.02.2018

With the Integrated Annual Report 2017 and the Green Finance Report 2017, TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), yet again presents a combination of healthy financial results (22 percent boost in revenue, experiencing a jump from €3,227 million to €3,948 million) with an enduring commitment to the sustainable energy future and impressive investments (€736 million invested in the Netherlands, and €1,032 million in Germany) in the transmission system of the future. The company’s strategy for increasing the grid resilience while maintaining high supply security includes extension of the TSO’s onshore and offshore infrastructure, the development of a more flexible electricity system, and the introduction of intelligent software based on blockchain technology.

Prominent examples of TenneT’s forward-thinking actions in 2017 are two pilot projects in the Netherlands and Germany, which enable consumers to take part in the electricity market, as well as offshore systems for connecting wind farms to the onshore grid, or interconnectors such as the Dutch-Danish COBRACable and NordLink between Germany and Norway. The conception of an artificial island in the North Sea, the North Sea Wind Power Hub, to bundle wind power capacities and, moreover, to connect national markets, is perhaps TenneT’s most outstanding future vison in this regard. In 2017, TenneT was able to enlarge the Power Hub Consortium promisingly.

TenneT’s CEO Mel Kroon is profoundly pleased with the TSO’s business year and comments: “In 2017 we made good progress on realising our strategic priorities.” Mr. Kroon emphasises that the company succeeded in combining supply security with grid modernisation and expansion, but also pointed out the future tasks: “Now that modern society is increasingly dependent on electricity, the costs of renewable electricity decrease significantly and ‘green power’ is supplied by a wide range of sources at countless locations, we must shift to a new electricity system that can support this revolution.”

> See TenneT press release (html, with access to the reports)

Picture: TenneT

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Collaboration and innovation – TenneT report

28.07.2017

A whole lot of aspects from the half-year report of TSC member Tennet are worth mentioning, but what might be considered as especially valuable and forward-thinking is the continuing effort of the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) in promoting the European energy collaboration and market integration. Tennet complements these efforts with the development of digital solutions for the renewable’s integration to facilitate the energy transition.

Mel Kroon, CEO at TenneT, mentions two essential catalysts of a sustainable European energy future: “Further integration of the North-West European electricity markets” to improve green energy management, as well as “smart, innovative systems” to match future energy demand and supply. Among TenneT’s most prominent international projects are the so called Power Link Island, a North Sea Wind Power Hub to be developed jointly with Danish TSO Energinet, the COBRAcable between the Netherlands and Denmark, or the NordLink cable to connect the Norwegian and German electricity markets. TenneT’s key initiative in terms of smart software solutions is the research on block chain technology fostering local, flexible electricity generation.

The company’s European commitment is emphasised by the opening of a representative office in Brussels in June and the appointment of Ben Voorhorst, Chief Operating Officer of TenneT, as President of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) in March. As far as TenneT’s operating results in the first half of 2017 are concerned, the TSO reports satisfactory figures, with profits before interests and taxes growing to €478m. Infrastructural investments in the Netherlands and Germany remained on a high level since large-scale grid extension projects, on- and offshore, are being implemented continuously. To help financing these investments in the transmission of the renewables, TenneT has yet again succesfully issued long term green bonds with a nominal total value of €2bn in March and June respectively.

> See TenneT press release (html)
> Open TenneT half-year report 2017 (pdf, 2.58mb)

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Data transmission to accompany COBRA

23.09.2016

The two TSC members Energinet.dk, the Danish transmission system operator (TSO), and TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO, are intending to equip the submarine COBRAcable connection with an additional fibre-optic data cable. The data cable’s primary function is to exchange technical information and to facilitate communication between the two appendant converter stations in Eemshaven in the Netherlands and Endrup in Denmark.

The COBRAcable, scheduled for operation in 2019, will be a new submarine DC interconnector with a total length of 325km and a capacity of 700MW. As direct link between the Dutch and Danish power grids, it will make the two national energy capacities structurally available to the other partner country. COBRAcable will promote the interexchange of renewable energy and ensure supply security in Denmark and the Netherlands, respectively.

> See Energinet.dk press release (html)
> See TenneT press release (html)

Picture: Screenshot taken from TenneT video “COBRAcable

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