TSO-DSO platform for congestion management


Grid operators in the Netherlands and throughout Europe are working intensively on expanding grid capacity, which is urgently needed in the wake of energy transition and economic growth. However, this cannot be achieved in the short term, but the use of flexible electricity from the market can help to avoid anticipated grid congestions. GOPACS (“Grid Operators Platform for Congestion Solutions”) is the name of a new technological tool developed in the Netherlands for this purpose. It is the result of a unique, active collaboration between four Dutch distribution system operators (DSOs) and TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO).

GOPACS is not a market platform in its own right but uses orders on existing market platforms. And this is how it works: If congestion is foreseeable at some part of the grid, operators would like to see, for example, a reduction in production or an increase in consumption. Via GOPACS, an invitation to tender is sent to market participants concerned, who place an appropriate purchase order on a connected market platform. To avoid negative impacts on the balance of the national grid, the reduction of generation in the congestion area is combined with a contrary order from a market party outside this area. The price difference between the two orders is covered by the operators, the two orders are matched, and congestion is resolved.

The Dutch grid operators are currently looking for market players who want to participate and use their flexibility productively. Participation in GOPACS is interesting for any market party with the possibility to influence electricity consumption or generation and to provide this flexibility for trading.

Together with Dutch DSOs, TenneT has launched GOPACS, a smart platform for market players to solve grid congestions

> See TenneT press release (html)
> Visit COPACS website (html)

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Smart TSO-DSO cooperation continues


The energy transition entails many changes for the energy industry, such as the increasing generation of decentralised and volatile renewables, new actors on the market like aggregators, or the active role of customers ‒ all these developments require flexibility and pose a challenge for every player in the energy market, but above all for those responsible for a stable grid and a secure electricity supply: transmission system operators (TSOs) and distribution system operators (DSOs) sharing similar obligations and interests.

To cope with the demanding future tasks, network operators need a common vision of active system management to increase the flexibility of transmission and distribution and to coordinate them closely. This is why ENTSO-E entered into an intensive cooperation with four associations representing European DSOs a few years ago, namely the European Distribution System Operators (EDSO) for Smart Grids, CEDEC, Eurelectric, and GEODE. A significant first step was the publication of a report on TSO-DSO data management on 19 September 2016.

By signing an updated Memorandum of Understanding on 23 October 2018, the partners expressed their commitment to maintain and enhance their collaboration. The focus is on measures to realise synergies in research, development and innovation, e.g. the exchange of data and information, the introduction of new communication devices and software, and the coordinated renewal of ageing grids. In addition, the TSOs and DSOs are also working together to implement network codes more efficiently. Further fields of cooperative activities will be defined at the beginning of 2019, taking into account the European Commission’s final Clean Energy Package.

ENTSO-E has signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding on close cooperation with four associations representing European DSOs

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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DA/RE initiative for grid security


Today’s energy system is increasingly characterised by decentralised power production and volatile feed-in of electricity. This substantially affects the operation of the electricity grids and poses additional challenges for those who control them: the transmission system operators (TSOs) and the distribution system operators (DSOs). TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, one of the four German TSOs, wants to explore innovative and cooperative approaches in order to make the grid and data flows smarter and thus ensure constant network security also in the new energy landscape.

Together with the southwest German DSO Netze BW, TransnetBW has launched an initiative that pursues two main targets: an efficient data exchange for grid security planning and coordinated redispatch performances on all grid levels. For this purpose, a digital platform is used that is accessible to all involved: TSOs, DSOs as well as plant operators. This open and integrated approach enables the use of plants and systems at distribution level for grid stabilisation measures at all levels. Via the platform, more facilities can be made available for redispatching which increases grid security.

The name of the new initiative derives directly from its purpose: DA/RE stands for “DAta exchange / REdispatch”, and at the same time it has to be understood literally: The DA/RE-partners are ready to take new and little trodden paths. Dr. Werner Götz, Chairman of the TransnetBW executive board, explains: “We no longer think of system security and system responsibility in the usual horizontal and exclusive TSO view, but across all network levels.” Preceded by a pilot phase from 2019, the initiators plan to implement the platform solution in 2021.

TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, one of the four German TSOs, launches DA/RE initiative for grid security together with German DSO NetzeBW.

> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

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Contriving the grid of the future


The cooperation of transmission system operators (TSOs) and distribution operators (DSOs) is an important issue in view of a future-proof, stable and dynamic grid management. Already in 2014, ten German DSOs and TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German TSOs, agreed on a ten-point programme for the further developement of system services. Now, 50Hertz and the DSOs are presenting an interim report comprising solutions and suggestions regarding four system services: Frequency stability, voltage stability, operational management, and re-establishment of supply.

In the future, decentralised generation will continue to increase in the course of the energy transition, and consumption will change significantly. This places new demands on the grid operators, especially in the control area of 50Hertz, where large amounts of wind energy are being produced. The innovative solutions developed by the partner companies require intensive TSO-DSO coordination. That is why a special training concept has also been conceived in order to convey appropriate specialist knowledge and to exemplify the necessary procedures.

> See 50Hertz press release, in German (html, with access to report)

Picture: 50Hertz


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Coupling of transmission and distribution data


Due to the energy transition, the future EU electricity system will be characterised by a decentralised production of electricity, in large parts from renewable sources. Already now, with an increasing variability of electricity generation and distribution, the system is operated close to its limits. In order to meet future requirements, more systemical flexibility is indispensable. But flexibility has to be combined with system stability and supply security. Therefore the data management and the data exchange between transmission system operators (TSOs) and distribution system operators (DSOs) need to be opitimised.

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has issued a report on TSO-DSO data management on 19 September 2016. The comprehensive documentation and collection of recommendations is a result of ENTSO-E’s close sooperation with four associations representing European DSOs (CEDEC, EDSO, EURELECTRIC and GEODE). The report benefits from the joint competences of the different partners who share their views on various aspects of data and information exchange. The collective effort also intends to stimulate a debate between the different participants of the electricity system like aggregators, retailers, traders, service providers or policy makers.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

Picture: Using illustration taken from ENTSO-E’s data management report (pdf)


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