Final Conference of FutureFlow

10.09.2019

The FutureFlow project reaches the final straight: On 15 October, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO) ELES will host the final conference of the successful project in the Austrian capital of Vienna. FutureFlow was launched in 2016 and funded by the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. The twelve project partners from eight European countries will officially conclude the project in December 2019.

The increasing regenerative energy generation and decreasing flexibility from conventional power plants require innovative approaches by the players in the electricity market. This is where the FutureFlow project comes in by exploring innovative e-trading solutions for smart cross-border balancing and redispatching in the control areas of four central-south European TSOs, all shareholders of TSCNET. In addition to the project coordinator ELES, the other TSO participants are APG from Austria, MAVIR from Hungary and Transelectrica from Romania.

At the final conference the FutureFlow partners will present the most important project results and options for their implementation. These include, for example, the real-time results of the cross-border pilot tests and the operation of the IT platforms developed as part of FutureFlow.

The final conference of the FutureFlow project is hosted by Eles in Vienna on 15 October (picture: Stefan Steinbauer, Pixabay)

Linkup
> See ELES press release (html)
> Visit FutureFlow website (html)
> Visit FutureFlow conference website (html)

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Swissgrid adjusts export capacities to Germany

03.09.2019

All participants in the integrated European electricity market have agreed on common definitions of the transmission capacity for international electricity exchanges, including the Net Transfer Capacity (NTC). The NTC is an important basis to anticipate and plan cross-border transactions. Thus, the establishment of NTCs is one of the essential tasks of the transmission system operators (TSOs) to enable market participants to carry out energy trading without jeopardising grid stability. TSCNET shareholder Swissgrid, the Swiss TSO, along with the neighbouring TSOs, determines the NTC values on all four Swiss borders on an annual, monthly and daily basis.

In the summer of 2019, Swissgrid had to reduce the NTC on the national northern border to Germany to ensure reliable grid operation. Originally, a static NTC value of 4,000 MW for exports from Switzerland to Germany had been defined with the neighbouring German TSOs. However, the load flows between the two countries have changed in the last two years. Situations in which Germany is dependent on imports, especially from Switzerland, occurred increasingly in the summer months. As a result, the previously typical north-south flow towards Italy reversed to a south-north flow towards Germany.

Other simultaneous factors also affected the Swiss grid load, such as the high level of Swiss hydropower production, the inspection times of the Swiss nuclear power plants and the seasonal decommissioning and construction work on the grid. In combination with the growth in exports to Germany, this led to significantly higher load flows in the Swiss 220kV grid, which were additionally reinforced by increased export opportunities from France to Germany through Flow-Based Market Coupling (FMBC) in the Central Western Europe (CWE) region and transit through Switzerland.

In fact, exports of up to 8,000MW were recorded on several days this summer. For this reason, Swissgrid, together with its neighbouring TSOs, has limited the NTC values for a secure grid operation. Swissgrid continues to cooperate closely with these TSOs to optimise cross-border capacity. The current static value of 4,000MW is expected to be substituted by seasonally adjusted dynamic NTC values. However, due to the implementation of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans Package” (CEP) of the European Commission, it is not yet possible to predict exactly how the NTC values at Switzerland’s northern border will develop.

Swissgrid adjusts the NTC values for electricity flows at the Swiss-German border

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> See Swissgrid news 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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“The backbone of cross-border trading” at Euroforum Conference

08.12.2018

Euroforum is a prestigious German promoter of first-class conferences, seminars and meetings and a subsidiary of the Handelsblatt Media Group, which publishes the leading German-language business newspaper. The Euroforum events bring together experts from business, science and politics and create forums for the transfer of knowledge and the exchange of opinions. This year’s Euroforum conference on 6 and 7 December in Düsseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, was dedicated to the topic of “Intraday trading in the electricity sector – digitisation and automation as growth drivers”.

TSCNET Services as one of the five European Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) – with fifteen transmission system operators (TSOs) from eleven central and eastern European countries as shareholders – can offer significant contributions on this area, which is why Maik Neubauer, one of the two Managing Directors of the Munich-based company, gladly accepted the invitation of Euroforum to speak at the conference. Mr. Neubauer, who acted in the past also as Board Member of the European Energy Exchange EEX where he already was part of a task force to work on a concept for a pan-European Intraday Trading system, presented the work of the European RSCs to an audience of experts. He stated that the work of the RSCs – largely unnoticed by the general public – is important to ensure a stable transmission network for their TSO shareholders with regional risk analyses. “Without the 24/7 work of the European TSOs and the RSCs to keep the European grid stable there wouldn’t be a sustainable basis for an efficient energy market on the continent,” Neubauer said.

In the conference many discussions had been around the development of the new European Intraday Trading System XBID that helps traders, generators, but also TSOs, to balance out the grids within the day of delivery.

Maik Neubauer presented the transmission grid as backbone of cross-border trading at Euroforum Conference in Düsseldorf, Germany

Linkup
> Visit Euroforum Conference website, in German (html)

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ELES presents FutureFlow progress

08.11.2018

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)

Linkup
> 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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Excellent review for FutureFlow

22.09.2017

The EU funded FutureFlow project has been going on for quite some time, which is why the European Commission audited the progress and the achievements made so far. FutureFlow explores innovative methods of cross-border balancing and redispatching in the control areas of four central-south European transmission system operators (TSOs). The project is coordinated by TSC member ELES, the Slovenian TSO. Two other TSC members – the Austrian TSO APG and MAVIR from Hungary – are also part of the consortium.

The FutureFlow presentation focussed on the design of the future secondary regulation market, platform development, and possibilities of involving final consumers. Sebastien Mortier, Research Programme Manager at the European Commission, expressed his satisfaction with the results, and commended the consortium as a whole as well as the project coordination.

> See ELES press release (html)
> Visit FutureFlow website (html)

Picture: ELES

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KONTEK interconnector under repair

18.08.2017

There are two interconnectors linking the Danish transmission grid and the transmission system in northern Germany: In the west between Jutland and the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, and the eastern connection between Bjæverskov on the Danish island of Zealand and Bentwisch in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The latter one, named KONTEK, is a 400kV DC earth and submarine cable connection with a total length of 170km and a transfer capacity of 600MW.

Two oil-leaking sockets have been detected in the German land cable section of KONTEK in mid-July. Preparations for repair works started immediately and the subsequent mendings will probably continue til September or October. Hence, the interconnector had to be switched off for several times, and further switch offs will be unavoidable. It is for this reason and to avoid capacity curtailments, that TSC member Energinet, the national Danish transmission system operator (TSO), announced that no capacity will be offered in the monthly auction for September 2017 between DE and DK-2.

> See Energinet.dk press release (html)

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Prototype platforms for FutureFlow

17.07.2017

The FutureFlow project explores innovative solutions for cross-border balancing and redispatching in the control areas of four central-south European transmission system operators (TSOs). It collates the expertise of twelve partners from eight countries, including three TSC members: The Austrian TSO APG, the Slovenian TSO ELES (the project coordinator) and MAVIR from Hungary. FutureFlow is progressing rapidly, and now the project partners have created the infrastructural research basis for further development.

A significant potential for flexibility services is hidden in the wide range of devices and processes in the industry, tertiary and household sectors. The FutureFlow partners are aiming at integrating this unused potential into their balancing concept by aggregating distributed generation (DG) and demand response (DR). To implement this ambitious goal, two prototype platforms have been designed. The first platform probes the aggregation of DG and DR involving renewable generation forecasting techniques. The second one is the prototype of the regional balancing and redispatching platform. Its main component is the Common Activation Function, which is destined for cross-border congestion management.

By no means, the participating TSOs would tolerate any risk to the stability of the national transmission systems or interferences with the live operational Load Frequency Control. Nevertheless, the FutureFlow partners want to carry out realistic tests in real time. That is why an innovative pilot test environment has been designed that allows lifelike interacting of adjacent TSO environments with the regional balancing platform.

> See ELES press release (html)
> Visit FutureFlow website

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FutureFlow meeting in Belgrade

07.07.2017

One-third of FutureFlow’s project runtime has passed – time for the participants to evaluate the current project status and to prepare future actions. For this reason the partners of the innovative research project met in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on 4 and 5 July.

The aim of FutureFlow is to explore e-trading solutions for electricity balancing and redispatching in the control areas of four central-south European transmission system operators (TSOs). With the Austrian TSO APG, the Slovenian TSO ELES, and MAVIR from Hungary, three TSC members are part of the FutureFlow consortium coordinated by ELES.

> See ELES press release (html)
> Visit FutureFlow website

Picture: ELES

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Implementing network codes for the Energy Union

04.05.2017

Congestions in cross-border energy exchange, lack of interconnectors, competition, and transparency: These are severe obstacles on the way to a European Energy Union. To overcome these barriers – and to achieve fair prices and more choices for customers – the European Commision, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), the European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) developed the network codes. These codes are regulations to facilitate the integration and coordination of European energy markets and systems. They are scheduled to be adopted in late 2017.

Today, a conference on the network codes was held in Brussels, Belgium. In close cooperation with the European Commision, the event was co-organised by ENTSO-E, ACER, and ENTSOG. The conference gave the various parties and stakeholders the opportunity to join forces on the implementation of the network codes. While it is ENTSO-E’s task to ensure cooperation among transmission system operators (TSOs) on a pan-European level, ACER provides coordination of national authorities in terms of regulation and legislation.

Powerful instruments
Alberto Pototschnig, Director of ACER, is pleased that the codes are now being implemented by national regulatory authorities. And they are paying off as early as now: “In the electricity sector, market coupling is already providing benefits in the order of €1bn per year.” Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General of ENTSO-E, emphasises the increasing need for flexible services in times of the energy transition. In this matter, “network codes have proven to be powerful instruments in tackling market and renewables integration”.

As the Regional Service Coordinators (RSCs) play an important part in the implementation of the network codes, TSCNET Services has participated in the conference, too. “All staff looks forward to taking up these important tasks together with ENTSO-E and the other RSCs,” says Daan Belgers, Head of Finance & Organisation at TSCNET Services.

> See ACER press release (html)
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> See European Commision streaming service (html)

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