Pilot for customer integration and data exchange

15.03.2018

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

12.03.2018

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

27.02.2018

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

30.01.2018

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.

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

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

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“Middle Axis” partially in operation

24.01.2018

The federal state of Schleswig-Holstein is the most northern part of the German control area of TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). It is characterised by windy coastal regions and thus a significant wind energy production. Naturally, the northern state plays a key role in the national energy transition. Due to the high feed-in of green electricity, Schleswig-Holstein’s existing high-voltage grid has long been at the load limit. Hence, the construction of new extra-high voltage power lines for transporting the electricity to Germany’s southern and western consumption centres is indispensable and a policy aim.

One such new line is the so-called “Middle Axis” from Denmark to Hamburg, a replacement construction for the old and insufficient 220kV overhead line, that runs through central Schleswig-Holstein. The 380kV “Middle Axis” will be supplemented by coastal lines in the east and west (“East-Coast-Line” and “West-Coast-Line” respectively). On 23 January, the southern section of the line between the substations Hamburg/Nord and Audorf has been officially put into operation in the presence of Robert Habeck, Deputy Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein and Minister of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature, and Digitalisation. The new “Middle Axis” section has seven times the transmission capacity of the old line.

Mr. Habeck and Lex Hartman, member of the TenneT executive board, jointly pressed the symbolic button for commissioning the line section after three years of construction. The Deputy Prime Minister conceded during the ceremony, that “the grid extension is one of the most unpopular sides of the energy transition”, and therefore specifically recognised TenneT’s endeavours to involve the public early and adequately. Besides paying tribute to the benefits for the energy transition, Lex Hartman also mentioned the economic and operational value of the project for the TSO: “Already this first construction section of the ‘Middle Axis’ has caused a significant reduction of grid-stabilising measures and interventions in the conventional energy production in Schleswig-Holstein during its gradual technical commissioning since the end of December.”

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: TenneT

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Designing a nordic balancing model

22.01.2018

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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Delivery of West-Coast-Line transformers

20.12.2017

The substation Heide-West in the most northern German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein is an important node of the “Westküstenleitung” (“West-Coast-Line”), which is planned and currently constructed by TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). This 380kV power line with a length of about 140km is one of TenneT’s numerous projects to transmit green electricity generated by wind farms in the German north to the main consumption centres in the west and south. The “West-Coast-Line” will also enhance transmission capacities between Denmark and Germany.

In the course of this week, two direct coupling transformers, the core elements of the substation, are to arrive at Heide-West. With a capacity of 300MVA each, they are capable of transforming electricity for around one million households. By connecting TenneT’s extra high-voltage grid to the 110kV grid of the local distributor, the transformers ensure the integration of wind power into the supra-regional transmission system. The transformers reached the port of Büsum by ship earlier this month, and since they both have a transport weight of 260t, they will be delivered individually in the period from 20 to 23 December by means of heavy-duty road transport.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: TenneT

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Foundations for Combined Grid Solution completed

15.12.2017

The Combined Grid Solution will serve as first Danish-German offshore interconnector in the Baltic Sea. By linking the German wind farm Baltic 2 to the planned Danish wind farm Kriegers Flak, which is less than 30 kilometres distant, and thus using the national grid connections of these offshore facilities, the Danish region of Zealand will be connected to the German federal state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. The ambitious project, awarded as Project of Common Interest (PCI) by the European Commission, is carried out by two TSCNET shareholders, the Danish transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet and 50Hertz, one of the four German TSOs.

A significant progress for the Combined Grid Solution has now been reported by 50Hertz: The gravity foundations for the two transformer platforms at Kriegers Flak were assembled in the Belgian port of Ostende and are ready for shipping. The assembly consisted of placing the so-called transition pieces on the concrete foundations. The transition pieces are the connecting element between the gravity foundation and the topside of each platform. The larger one of these transformer platforms will be the linking point between the Danish and the German transmission systems.

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

Picture: 50Hertz

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Danish-German countertrade models

01.12.2017

The DK1-DE interconnector between Danish Jutland and the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein is the western link between the transmission systems of Denmark and Germany. This summer, the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate and the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in liaison with the respective national regulatory authorities declared their common aim to secure a minimum of available hourly import and export capacity on the DK1-DE interconnector. Subsequently, it was up to the two TCNET shareholders Energinet.dk, the Danish transmission system operator (TSO), and the Dutch-German TSO Tennet to provide for the implementation of the governmental agreement.

The declaration stipulates that in cases of physical congestions the two TSOs are to perform countertrade operations to secure the minimum capacities. This is what Energinet and TenneT are doing since early July 2017, thus guaranteeing minimum available hourly capacities. While up to now, the TSOs bank on existing methods, this might not be sufficient in view of the expected growing amount of countertrade in the future. Energinet and TenneT have therefore compiled an Impact Assessment of various alternative countertrade options, which now has been published. The assessment serves as basis for selecting a definitive countertrade model.

> See Energinet press release (html, with access to the Impact Assessment document)
> See TenneT press release (html, with access to the Impact Assessment document)

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Port of Rotterdam joins power hub consortium

28.11.2017

The European climate and energy objectives are undoubtedly ambitious – nonetheless, the European transmission system operators (TSOs) are eager to fulfill their part in realising a sustainable low-carbon energy future. For this purpose, exceptional lighthouse projects are required, such as the North Sea Wind Power Hub. This visionary hub concept comprises the construction of one or more so-called Power Link Islands situated in shallow North Sea waters with ideal wind conditions. Connected to a large number of offshore wind facilities, such an island can facilitate the distribution and transmission of wind-generated electricity and also serve as interconnector between North Sea riparian states.

The North Sea Wind Power Hub was originally conceived by TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO. In March 2017, TenneT TSO B.V. (Netherlands) and TenneT TSO GmbH (Germany) were complemented by another TSCNET shareholder, Energinet from Denmark. The hub consortium was further expanded in September, when Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transmission company Gasunie joined, bringing its expertise in terms of power-to-gas technologies into the fold.

Now another important step for the success of North Sea Wind Power Hub is taken: The Port of Rotterdam has become the fifth member of the hub consortium. The Port of Rotterdam not only pursues a clear sustainability strategy, but also has pertinent knowledge in the field of seaward land reclamation. With respect to the island construction, the port’s specific experiences will prove to be very valuable for the hub project.

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

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