Cooperation for the green and digital transition


The European energy landscape is changing constantly and fast, and there are two main factors that radically influence the conditions for the players in the energy market: the energy transition and the digital revolution. New digital developments offer great opportunities for companies from the energy sector to closer cooperate with companies outside the sector’s traditional value chain in order to realise a smart and efficient green and digital transition. Modesty and professional ambition should balance each other in this challenging field of work, or in the words of Thomas Egebo, CEO at TSCNET shareholder Energinet, the Danish transmission system operator (TSO): “We don’t have all the answers, but we would like to be part of the solution.”

On behalf of Energinet and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), Thomas Egebo was the host of the Digital Round Table on 24 May in the Danish Capital of Copenhagen. High-level representatives from Microsoft, GE Power, Renault, Envision ‒ China’s second-largest wind turbine company ‒ and other international companies and organisations attended the event to discuss the impact of new technologies and digitalisation on the energy sector and the possibilities for new partnerships between companies from the traditional energy sector and other companies.

Many of the prospective solutions are still unknown to us today, but it is certain that data is essential for the energy future. Energinet wants to be a catalyst in this area to help market participants create products of the future. Thomas Egebo explained that a TSO such as Energinet can supply production data and information about the state of the network to businesses and consumption data to individual consumers. “Data is something that everyone can tap into, as well as a crucial element of the new business models, in which consumers can make a real difference in contributing to the integration of renewable energy,” commented Mr Egebo.

> See Energinet press release (html)
> Visit Energinet event website (html)

Picture: Digital Round Table by Energinet

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North Sea Wind Power Hub presentation


The road to a sustainable low-carbon energy future cannot be successfully pursued without ambitious and courageous lighthouse projects. With a fundamentally original concept of combining wind energy production, storage and transmission with a multinational interconnector, the North Sea Wind Power Hub vision definitely falls into that category. The hub concept comprises one or more so-called Power Link Islands which are built in shallow North Sea waters with ideal wind conditions and connected to multiple offshore wind facilities. The vision also includes power to gas technologies in the form of gas-based transmission and storage solutions. Such islands facilitate the distribution and transmission of wind power and may additionally serve to interconnect the transmission systems of the North Sea neighbouring states.

The North Sea Wind Power Hub was originally conceived by TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). The Hub consortium by now also consists of Danish TSO Energinet, another TSCNET shareholder, the Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transmission company Gasunie and the Port of Rotterdam. The Clean Energy Ministerial ‒ part of this year’s Nordic Clean Energy Week in Copenhagen and Malmö ‒ provided a welcome opportunity to showcase the North Sea Wind Power Hub in front of a considerable number of Energy Ministers from most of the largest economies in the world, as well as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and The Netherlands.

Lars Barfoed, Chairman of the Board of Energinet, took over the presentation on behalf of the consortium. Mr Barfoed identified the shared vision of new energy highways and trade corridors between the North Sea riparians as “bold, but simple”. Instead of individual national offshore connections for the integration of ever increasing offshore wind energy, an internationally coordinated hub concept would be much more efficient, also in economic terms. Of course, the vison requires sustainable political support and cooperation at the international level. “We need to focus more on the whole picture,” explains Mr Barfoed. “If a wind power hub in the North Sea is to move from vision to reality, whatever its technical and economic potential, it requires massive political support from a large number of participating countries.”

> See Energinet press release (html)
> See TenneT press release (html)
> Visit North Sea Wind Power Hub website (html)

Picture: Screenshot taken from video “North Sea Wind Power Hub vision” (North Sea Wind Power Hub Consortium, YouTube)

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Platforms for Combined Grid Solution installed


The installation of all three offshore platforms for the planned Danish wind farm Kriegers Flak in the Baltic Sea has successfully been completed on 7 May. A special heavy duty crane vessel was needed as the platforms weigh 800, 1,500 and 1,800 tonnes, respectively. The platforms will not only collect the electricity from Kriegers Flak, but one of them will also be used for the Combined Grid Solution, the first Danish-German offshore interconnetor, which is a joint venture of the two TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, one of the four German Transmission System Operators (TSOs), and Energinet, the Danish TSO.

The Combined Grid Solution will link Kriegers Flak to the German wind farm Baltic 2 and thus integrate the electricity systems of Denmark and Germany. According to Jens Christian Hygebjerg, project manager at Energinet, the platform installation was the “most costly risk” of the whole project. “It is therefore a great relief to see all three platforms in their rightful place.” The platforms are scheduled to be put into operation in October 2018, but only after an intensive phase of further assembly work and a series of tests under real-life conditions.

> See 50Hertz press release (html)
> See Energinet press release (html)

Picture: Jakob Fynsk / Energinet

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Change in corporate structure at Energinet


In response to an increasingly complex energy market environment, TSCNET shareholder Energinet has reorganised the company and established several subsidiaries. Since 1 May 2018, the Danish national transmission system operator (TSO) for electricity and natural gas consists of group staff, two business services companies and the following subsidiaries: Electricity System Operator, Electricity Transmission, TSO Gas, Gas Storage Denmark, Danish Gas Distribution, and DataHub.

Energinet has taken on several new tasks in recent years, which have led to diverging operational and financial challenges. The new corporate organisation ensures that Denmarks energy infrastructure will continue to be operated as securely and efficiently as possible. Energinet’s CEO Thomas Egebo comments on the company’s reorganisation: “Due to Energinet’s growth, our business has become more complex. With the new corporate structure, we create greater transparency in decision making, and we make a clear separation of roles and responsibilities.”

> See Energinet press release (html)

Picture: Energinet / Hvidt & Mølgaard Arkitekter, by

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Transformer for Combined Grid Solution


At the Hollandia shipyard in Krimpen aan den IJssel in the Dutch province of South Holland, the next step has been taken for the Combined Grid Solution, the first Danish-German offshore connection in the Baltic Sea: A 450MVA transformer was placed on the Kriegers Flak Extension offshore platform. The interconnector is a joint venture by the two TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, one of the four German Transmission System Operators (TSOs), and Energinet, the Danish TSO.

By linking two offshore wind farms, the German Baltic 2 and the planned Danish Kriegers Flak, the Combined Grid Solution will integrate the electricity systems of both respective countries. The transformer is necessary to balance the different voltage levels of the Danish and German offshore wind farms. After the complete assembly of the transformer, the entire platform topside will be shipped to Kriegers Flak at the end of April. Here, it will be installed on the gravity foundation, which has been erected in February of this year on the floor of the Danish Baltic Sea.

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

Picture: Dieter Böhm / 50Hertz

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Thomas Egebo appointed CEO of Energinet


At the helm of TSCNET shareholder Energinet, a change of personnel is pending, as long-time President and CEO Peder Østermark Andreasen has decided to retire after 13 years of successfully managing the Danish transmission system operator (TSO). As successor to Mr. Andreasen, the Supervisory Board of Energinet now has designated Thomas Egebo, who will take over his duties as early as 1 May 2018. Thomas Egebo comes from top level politics to Energinet, holding the position of Permanent Secretary in the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate.

Given Energinet’s important role in the Danish and European energy sector, Lars Barfoed, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, emphasises the high degree of responsibility that the company’s CEO has to shoulder, especially in times of a rapidly changing energy system. In this regard, Mr Barfoed praises the very strong professional profile and extensive experience of Thomas Egebo, who himself outlines Energinet’s mission as managing and expanding “socially critical energy infrastructure”, ensuring “high security of supply and well-functioning electricity and gas markets”, and supporting an “efficient transition to clean energy”.

> See Energinet press release (html)

Picture: Maria Tuxen Hedegaard / Energinet

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Pilot for customer integration and data exchange


Flexible consumption is the appropriate response to the volatile production of green electricity, and flexibility would be promoted if the electricity system were at least partially bidirectional. According to TSCNET shareholder Energinet, the Danish transmission system operator (TSO), this is where the customer comes into play. For example, electricity consumers should be able to sell power from the battery in their electric car to the grid. Of course, this requires data and new market models that actively use the flexibility of consumers.

“Consumers should be at the centre of the future energy system”, explains Søren Dupont Kristensen, Senior Vice President at Energinet. Already since June 2017, the Danish TSO has been operating a datahub collecting all consumption data for private consumers. That also applies to the Estonian TSO Elering. On this account, the two TSOs have recently signed an agreement on a joint pilot project in the Estonian capital of Talinn. The aim is to develop a new technology that gives market players access to consumer consumption data in a simple and secure way, as well as to establish a cros-border data exchange system.

The two TSOs have already begun the first tests of the blockchain-based authentication and authorisation system called “Sovrin”. Fail-safe identification of consumers or electrical devices, protected handling of consumer data, and secure communication between systems and plants are all overly important in this regard. Søren Dupont Kristensen emphasises that Energinet and Elering are working on “technical specifications, to allow anyone who wants to use it to develop similar solutions”. Thus, an open source solution is intended, so that the research could also be for the benefit of other TSOs.

> See Energinet press release (html)

Picture: Elering

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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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Kriegers Flak platform foundations installed


The TSCNET shareholders Energinet, the Danish Transmission System Operator (TSO), and 50Hertz, one of the four German TSOs, are jointly creating the first Danish-German offshore connection in the Baltic Sea, the so-called Combined Grid Solution. For the first time, offshore wind farms will be used for integrating the electricity systems of two countries. The high capacity interconnector will link the German wind farm Baltic 2 with the planned Danish wind farm Kriegers Flak. It is funded by the European Union as a Project of Common Interest.

To collect the wind power from Kriegers Flak, two transformer platforms are needed, of which the larger one will also be used for the Combined Grid Solution. The gravity foundations for these platforms have now been successfully installed in the Baltic Sea at a distance of 8 kilometers from each other. The installation time was about ten hours each. The barge had to be partly subsided below water level, so that the foundations could be unloaded with a special crane vessel. Subsequently, they were lowered to the sea floor. The installation of the platform topsides is scheduled for May 2018.

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

Picture: 50Hertz

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Kriegers Flak platform foundations ready


Europe’s energy future will never succeed without the close cooperation of European transmission system operators (TSOs) and not without the integration of the national transmission systems. This requires high capacity interconnectors, and an example of this is the Combined Grid Solution in the Baltic Sea. The first Danish-German offshore connection will link the German wind farm Baltic 2 with the planned Danish wind farm Kriegers Flak. The Project of Common Interest (PCI) is a joint venture by the two TSCNET shareholders Energinet, the Danish TSO, and 50Hertz, one of the four German TSOs.

After the gravity foundations for the two Kriegers Flak transformer platforms had been assembled on a special barge at the Belgian port of Ostend in December 2017, they were shipped to Denmark early this year. One of the platforms will be used for the Combined Grid Solution. Both are now in Køge harbour in the Danish region of Zealand, 39 kilometres southwest of Copenhagen, where they are waiting for the crane ship for the offshore installation. On the occasion of this project progress, 50Hertz has published an appealing time-lapse video of the platform’s assembly in Ostend, originally produced by the platform manufacturer, the Dutch Jan de Nul Group.


Picture: Screenshot taken from video “KriegersFlak Combined Grid Solution – Fundamentbau in 90 Sekunden” (YouTube, 50Hertz)

> See 50Hertz press release (html, with link to video)

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