TSO proposals for balancing market integration


To pave the way for a well-functioning energy union, there are eight European network codes: regulations that are intended to promote the integration and coordination of the various national European energy markets. One of these codes, the Commission regulation establishing a guideline for electricity balancing (EBGL), is intended – as the wording implies – to integrate the national European balancing markets.

Cross-border balancing is crucial for the transmission system operators (TSOs) to continuously ensure that the grid frequency is kept within a defined security range and that the required level and quality of power reserves are maintained. The European TSOs have now substantially advanced the guideline implementation by submitting six proposals for balancing market integration and the creation of platforms for the exchange of balancing energy products to the competent national regulatory authorities (NRAs).

With the assistance of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSOE), these proposals have been developed in close cooperation between all TSOs and consulted with stakeholders. Laurent Schmitt, ENTSO-E Secretary General, is convinced that the realisation of the TSO proposals will create a level playing field for all market participants and thus lead to increased cross-border participation, supply security, competition and share of renewable energy. Consequently, Mr Schmitt identifies a “true ‘win-win-win situation‘, good for customer, the environment and the economy”.

The European TSOs have submitted six proposals for balancing market integration to the competent NRAs

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Visit the EBGL website (html)

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ELES presents FutureFlow progress


The EU-funded FutureFlow project explores innovative e-trading solutions for smart cross-border balancing and redispatching in the control areas of four central-south European transmission system operators (TSOs), all shareholders of TSCNET. The project is coordinated by the Slovenian TSO ELES, the other TSO participants being APG from Austria, MAVIR from Hungary, and Transelectrica from Romania. In times of increasing regenerative energy generation and lack of flexibility services from conventional plants, the FutureFlow consortium considers the prosumer as a new source of flexibility for the transmission grid.

A cross-border pilot with 48MW of flexible power capacity in Austria, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia has already proven that the involvement of the prosumers can save regulating energy. In order to communicate these and other results, ELES representatives took the opportunity to promote FutureFlow during the “European Utility Week” in the Austrian capital of Vienna. At the introductory panel “Interoperable Platforms and Data Exchange for Energy Services” on 6 November, mag. Uroš Salobir, Director of the Strategic Innovation Department at ELES, explained with regard to the cross-border integration of the system service markets: “For automatic frequency control, the FutureFlow project offers 60% savings and up to 57% for redispatching.”

Eles promoted the FutureFlow project for smart cross-border balancing and redispatching on the “European Utility Week” in Vienna (picture based on screenshots taken from FutureFlow promotional video)

> See ELES press release (html)
> Visit FutureFlow website (html)
> Watch FutureFlow promotional video “Prosumers as guardians of the power system” (YouTube)

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ACER releases ITC report


Every year, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) reviews the implementation of the Inter-Transmission System Operator Compensation (ITC) mechanism on behalf of the European Commission (EC). This also includes the monitoring of the management of the ITC Fund established by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The purpose of this fund is to compensate transmission system operators (TSOs) for the costs incurred as a result of the hosting of cross-border electricity flows.

ACER has now published the ITC report for 2017, in which the Agency concludes that the implementation of the ITC mechanism and the management of the ITC Fund in 2017 continued to comply with the requirements of the relevant European regulation. While the ITC Fund remained relatively stable at €259.35m compared to 2016, the volume of transitory losses increased significantly. However, the increasing impact on the losses component of the ITC Fund was almost fully offset by a notable reduction in the weighted average value of losses for the ITC parties. This average value of 35.36€/MWh was actually the lowest since 2011.

ACER has released its report on the Inter-Transmission System Operator Compensation mechanism in 2017

> See ACER press release (html, with access to report)

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SINCRO.GRID contract for process technical systems


The Croatian-Slovenian smartgrid project SINCRO.GRID is carried out by the two TSCNET shareholders ELES, the transmission system operator (TSO) from Slovenia, and HOPS from Croatia. The cross-border initiative aims at optimising the efficiency of the Croatian and Slovenian electricity transmission grids through the application of advanced technologies and innovative data processing methods. SINCRO.GRID has been awarded the status of Project of Common Interest (PCI) by the European Commission under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme.

On behalf of SINCRO.GID, HOPS has signed a contract with KONČAR-KET, the Croatian provider of engineering services for power generation, transmission or distribution facilities. The contract comes with the rather unwieldy title: “Process technical systems for the voltage and reactive power regulation support of the EES and dynamic monitoring of the transmission line load within the SINCRO.GRID project”, but what it’s all about is to increase the quality and capacity of the power system through the use of advanced process technical systems and algorithms. This will also promote the integration of the renewables and increase the security of customer supply.

HOPS has signed a contract for the use of process technical systems on behalf of SINCRO.GRID (picture: HOPS; on the left: Mario Gudelj, Chairman of the Board at HOPS, on the right: Goran Leci, Managing Director of KONČAR-KET)

> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)
> See news release on SINCRO.GRID website (html)

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Congestion management on Austro-German border


Congestion management will be introduced on the border between Austria and Germany on 1 October 2018. This go-live date was approved by the competent regulatory authorities at the beginning of September and has now been confirmed by all responsible decision-making bodies of the Nominated Electricity Market Operators (NEMOs) and the affected transmission system operators (TSOs), which are all shareholders of TSCNET: APG from Austria and the four German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW.

Electricity exchange between Austria and Germany has increased in recent years. In order to ensure safe operation of transmission systems in Austria, Germany and neighbouring countries, and to reduce congestion management costs, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) included the introduction of a bidding zone split between Austria and Germany in the new design of the European Capacity Calculation Regions (CCRs). Following successful testing of the systems, the operational procedures as well as the scheduling and nomination processes, the TSOs concerned now will implement this decision.

To ensure safe operation of transmission systems, congestion management will be introduced on Austro-German border on 1 October 2018

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Croatian-Slovenian market coupling in June


A significant step towards an integrated European power market is expected to be taken on 19 June 2018, the scheduled launch date for the Croatian-Slovenian market coupling project. Since spring 2017, the TSCNET shareholders ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO), and HOPS from Croatia have been preparing the market integration to establish day-ahead capacity allocation and congestion management at the Slovenian-Croatian border in accordance with the respective specifications of the European Commission.

In May and June, the partner TSOs will be performing trial runs on the market coupling processes and procedures. From the launch date onwards, capacity for the Croatian-Slovenian border will be implicitly allocated through the Price Coupling of Regions (PCR) solution for the day-ahead markets. This makes the border a part of the Multi-Regional Coupling (MRC) and for the first time, the Croatian bidding zone will be included in the internal European market via the Slovenian bidding zone.

> See ELES press release (html)
> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)
> Open joint press release (pdf, 505kb)

Picture: Croatian-Slovenian boundary river Kupa/Kolpa by Miroslav Vajdic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Consultation on Austro-German balancing


Electricity exchange between Austria and Germany has increased in recent years, while the physical transportation capacity of the high voltage grid is limited. In order to secure safe operation of the transmission system in Austria, Germany and neighbouring countries, and to reduce congestion management costs, the Austrian and German transmission system operators (TSOs) cooperate on processes for cross-border exchange and on the procurement of secondary balancing capacity.

Against this backdrop, the TSOs concerned, APG from Austria and the four German TSOs, 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW‒ all being shareholders of TSCNET ‒, have opened a stakeholder consultation in accordance with the European Guideline on Electricity Balancing. The consulting TSOs consider the stakeholder’s feedback essential for establishing a well-functioning market design. The consultation will end on 15 April and the introduction of congestion management between Austria and Germany is scheduled for 1 October 2018.

> See TenneT press release (html, with access to consultation)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html, with access to consultation)

Picture: Mike Knell (Creative Commons)

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Agreement on nordic balancing


Volatile production of renewable energy and diversification of consumption patterns effect the energy system fundamentally. It is essential for any European transmission system operator (TSO), to achieve greater system flexibility and to improve control over imbalances. Against this background, the five nordic TSOs, which include the Danish TSCNET shareholder Energinet, have reached a cooperation agreement on developing and implementing a new nordic balancing concept and common balancing markets.

The agreement not only defines roles and responsibilities of each TSO for the implementation of the new balancing model, but also provides for the development of new market platforms. A joint statement by the CEOs of all the nordic TSOs describes the agreement as “a major step forward for the development of an efficient power market that ensures security of supply”.

> See Energinet press release (html)

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Designing a nordic balancing model


The Danish TSCNET shareholder Energinet is one of the five nordic transmission system operators (TSOs), who all join forces in creating a balancing model for the future nordic electricity system. For that purpose, the nordic TSOs have agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding, which defines important principles for this model, like establishing one common Nordic Load-Frequency. The CEOs of the nordic TSOs released a joint statement declaring that the companies are working on a collective proposal to the national regulatory authorities.

> See Energinet press release (html)

Picture: Edited screenshot taken from video “Nordic RSC” (YouTube, Energinet)


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50Hertz PSTs in regular operation


The transmission systems of the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), ČEPS, the Czech TSO, and PSE from Poland are interconnected in the tri-border region of Germany, Poland, and Czechia. To better control the cross-border electricity flows and to increase cross-border capacities, not only close cooperation between these TSOs is an absolute requirement, but also the appropriate technical features. For this reason, all three TSOs started to equip substations near the border with phase-shifting transformers (PSTs) a few years ago.

After a successful three-month trial, 50Hertz put two PSTs at its Röhrsdorf substation in Saxony into regular operation, additionally improving the control of electricity flows between Czechia and Germany. The two 50Hertz PSTs complement their northern Bohemian counterparts in Hradec u Kadaně operated by ČEPS. Further reconstructions in Röhrsdorf are still to follow, before the PSTs can also be switched into the directions of Dresden, Streumen, and Remptendorf. In an expected two years, the PSTs will thus also stabilise the transmission in the southern control area of 50Hertz and make the grid more effective.

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

Picture: 50Hertz


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