Preparations for market inclusion of COBRAcable

15.03.2019

COBRAcable will be the first direct link between the electricity markets of Denmark and the Netherlands. It is a joint project of the two transmission system operators (TSOs) and TSCNET shareholders Energinet from Denmark and TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO. By increasing the exchange of surplus wind energy, the DC interconnector is to improve the cohesion of the European transmission system and the integration of the electricity market. COBRAcable also makes a sustainable contribution to the low-carbon energy future by providing the opportunity to hook up future North Sea offshore wind farms to the connection. The entire cable route comprises 329km, of which 307km are offshore and 22km onshore. Since two cables are laid in parallel, the total length of the cables is 658km.

COBRAcable reached the Dutch shore at the Eemshaven connection point in November 2018 and will be commissioned this year. Now the two TSOs are preparing the commercial operation of COBRAcable scheduled for the third quarter of 2019. The concrete measures are the inclusion of COBRAcable in the day ahead and intraday market coupling systems on 16 April 2019 and in the market coupling results on the following day, each with an allocated capacity of zero. The objective of this is to test the relevant IT systems and prepare for a successful launch of commercial operations later in the year.

Energinet and Tennet carry out a test inclusion of COBRAcable in the market coupling (picture: screenshot taken from video “COBRAcable kommer i land ved Eemshaven”, Energinet – Vimeo)

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> See Energinet press release (html)

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Royal interest in the Wind Power Hub

07.03.2019

TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), had the honour of hosting high-ranking visitors. During the German-Dutch trade delegation meeting on 6 March 2019 in the German North Sea port of Bremerhaven, Manon van Beek, CEO of the TSCNET shareholder, presented the vision and current plans for the North Sea Wind Power Hub in attendance of the Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima.

The North Sea Wind Power Hub concept combines wind energy production, storage, and transmission with a multinational interconnection of North Sea riparian states. In addition to TenneT, the international hub consortium includes the Danish TSO Energinet, another TSCNET shareholder, the port of Rotterdam and the Dutch natural gas company Gasunie. Hence, power-to-gas technologies are also involved in the hub concept. A transnational transmission grid, controlled through a distribution hub in the North Sea and enabling the feed-in and distribution of vast quantities of offshore wind energy, would strengthen the whole European energy market and increase the security of supply across the continent.

The Dutch royal couple took great interest in the virtual and interactive model of the hub concept showcased at the meeting. Manon van Beek was most appreciative of this aristocratic concern: “We are especially pleased and honoured by the interest of the royal couple in the energy hub.” The TenneT CEO considers the Power Hub to be a valuable instrument in achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. In this regard, the royal visit was beneficial because the realisation of a low-carbon energy future “requires international cooperation and coordination, political momentum and courage and the support of non-governmental organisations”, van Beek concluded.

TenneT has presented the North Sea Wind Power Hub in the presence of the Dutch royal couple (picture: TenneT)

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

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EU invests in priority energy infrastructure

05.02.2019

The “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF) programme by the European Commission (EC) is a major European funding instrument to support the Energy Union, which is one of the EC’s policy priorities. CEF promotes the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in transport, energy and digital services sectors. Significant infrastructure projects of TSCNET shareholders are also considered as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) and worthy of support.

PCIs financed by CEF include for example the Viking Link interconnector of the Danish transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet, the SuedLink DC line in Germany – a joint venture of the Dutch-German TSO TenneT and TransnetBW from southwestern Germany – and the joint smart grid project SINCRO.GRID of TSOs ELES and HOPS from Slovenia and Croatia respectively.

Last week, the EU Member States endorsed the EC’s proposal to invest a further €800 million under the CEF in infrastructure projects with high cross-border benefits. The current approval concerns the CEF’s financial support for studies and work on a total of 14 projects. Priority has been given to initiatives to increase competitiveness, improve security of energy supply and contribute to sustainable development and environmental protection.

The EU is investing a further €800m in priority energy infrastructure (illustration based on a picture by EC-Audiovisual Service / Mauro Bottaro)

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> See EC press release (html)

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Agreement on minimum capacity at Danish-German border

25.01.2019

In July 2017, the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate and the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy adopted a joint declaration on the increase of cross-border electricity trade between Western Denmark and Germany. The competent transmission system operators (TSOs), the TSCNET shareholders Energinet from Denmark and TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO, subsequently agreed to implement a joint countertrading programme. Energinet and TenneT have been meeting the requirements of the joint declaration since July 2017 and have since ensured minimum available hourly capacities for both directions at the border.

In addition, TenneT has committed itself to the European Commission (EC) in 2018 to further expand the coordinated trade programme and to implement the corresponding EC decision in cooperation with Energinet from January 2019. In order to better comply with TenneT’s additional obligations from the commitment, the two TSOs have now signed an extended agreement supporting TenneT in doing so.

Energinet and Tennet signed an extended agreement on guaranteeing minimum capacities for cross-border trade

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> See Energinet press release (html)

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MIGRATE and PROMOTioN workshop in Berlin

22.01.2019

The consortia of two innovative grid-related research projects funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme – MIGRATE and PROMOTioN – invite to their first joint workshop entitled “Technical challenges and recommendations for the future European power grid”. Both projects aim to maintain security of supply, grid stability and reliability in times of large scale renewable energy integration. The event takes place on 28 February 2019 at the Maritim Hotel near the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of the German capital of Berlin.

The MIGRATE project (“Massive InteGRATion of power Electronic devices”) comprises 23 partners from 13 European countries, including the transmission system operators (TSOs) and TSCNET shareholders Amprion (Germany), ELES (Slovenia), and TenneT (Germany and the Netherlands). The aim of MIGRATE is to explore technology-based solutions for the current and future technological challenges to the transmission system, in particular by linking generation and consumption via power electronics.

The PROMOTioN project (“PROgress on Meshed HVDC Offshore Transmission Networks”) seeks to further develop innovative technologies relevant for the deployment of meshed offshore HVDC grids. Its specific objective is to improve the cooperation between grid operators and major suppliers for a technical architecture and interoperable technologies to accelerate HVDC grid development. As the largest energy project in Horizon, the consortium includes 33 partners from 11 countries, among them TenneT and further TSCNET shareholder Energinet, the Danish TSO.

The first joined workshop of the European research projects MIGRATE and PROMOTioN will be held in Berlin on 28 February

Linkup
> See ELES press release (html)
>Visit MIGRATE or PROMOTioN website (html, both with access to event agenda and registration)

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Successful test for the Combined Grid Solution

09.11.2018

The Combined Grid Solution is a joint offshore connection project by the two TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, one of the four German Transmission System Operators (TSOs), and the Danish TSO Energinet. The binational interconnector in the Baltic Sea will integrate the electricity systems of Denmark and Germany by linking the German wind farm Baltic 2 to the Danish wind farm Kriegers Flak. The utilisation of grid connections from offshore wind farms to couple the transmission grids of two countries is nothing less than a world premiere.

The laying of the two submarine cables “150kV-line KFE-BaZ 155“ and “150kV-line KFE-BaZ 156“ was completed at the beginning of July and the two TSOs have now successfully conducted 24-hour testing of both cables. Around noon on 6 November and in the afternoon thereafter, the two cables were energised one after the other up to the disconnector on the offshore substation OSS KFE and now are ready to transport electricity. Sebastian Wagner, Sub-Project Manager Sea cables at 50Hertz, and Energinet’s Project Manager Daniel Johan Brøndum jointly declared: “Everyone in the team worked closely together and delivered to-the-point. We are very happy and celebrate this success together.”

The submarine cables for the Danish-German offshore interconnector Combined Grid Solution of 50Hertz and Energinet were successfully tested (illustration based on pictures of 50Hertz / Sebastian Wagner)

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> See 50Hertz project news (html)
> See Energinet project news (html)

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XBID is running stable

07.09.2018

The successful launch of the European Cross-Border Intraday (XBID) solution and ten XBID related Local Implementation Projects (LIPs) in June 2018 has marked a significant step towards the creation of a single integrated continent-wide intraday market. The aim of the XBID initiative is increasing the overall efficiency of cross-border trading and intraday coupling, which both are key components of the future European internal energy market.

The XBID solution has been running now for over two and a half months without any major incidents, delivering continuous trading of electricity across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Many other European countries are to follow in a second XBID-wave in 2019. Up to now, the number of trades in XBID has exceeded 2.5m. As a result of this satisfactory commissioning, the Steering Committee, in consultation with the Nominated Electricity Market Operators (NEMOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs) involved, decided to shut down the rollback systems.

Among the TSOs collaborating in XBID are the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, Energinet, TenneT, and TransnetBW, as well as TSCNET client Creos from Luxembourg. Together they have developed a common IT system including one shared order book, a capacity management module, and a shipping module. XBID makes it possible to bring together bids of market participants from different market areas within the region covered by the project, provided there is sufficient cross-border transmission capacity. It thus bundles the whole European intraday continuous market and complements the existing day ahead market.

The XBID solution for a single integrated European cross-border intraday market is running stable and availability of rollback systems has ceased

Linkup
> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
> See Energinet press release (html)
> See TenneT press release, in German (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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Danish security of supply among the best

09.07.2018

An availability rate of electricity of 99.995% of the time in 2017 is quite impressive, and the Danish TSCNET shareholder Energinet is the transmission system operator (TSO) presenting this outstanding value in its “Security of electricity supply report 2018”. With this remarkable confirmation of last year’s result (99.996%), Denmark is again among the leading European countries. According to Energinet, the excellent security value is partly due to the high level of underground cabling in Denmark.

The key features of today’s energy landscape ‒ such as the integration of extensive and increasing wind and solar power capacities, more electricity interconnectors between different countries, or the harmonisation of markets and grid operation via EC regulations ‒ all affect the Danish supply security, which is no longer a national, but a regional issue. Energinet is aware of the new challenges and will adress these with operational and infrastructural measures, but also with the introduction of market reforms to increase the flexibility of both, generation and consumption.

TSCNET shareholder Energinet, the Danish TSO, presents impressive figures in its Security of electricity supply report 2018.

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

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Combined Grid Solution: submarine cable installed

06.07.2018

In early May, all of the three offshore platforms for the planned Danish wind farm Kriegers Flak in the Baltic Sea were successfully installed. One of them will not only collect wind power, but also function as linking point for the Combined Grid Solution, the first Danish-German offshore interconnector. The Combined Grid Solution is a joint venture of two TSCNET shareholders, 50Hertz, one of the four German Transmission System Operators (TSOs), and the Danish TSO Energinet.

Just two months later, 50Hertz announces that the next significant step for the project has been taken. The Combined Grid Solution will integrate the electricity systems of Denmark and Germany by linking the German wind farm Baltic 2 with 25 kilometres of submarine cables to Kriegers Flak. Now both cables of the interconnector have been laid out completely. The Baltic 2 platform was the starting point for the cable laying, and on 5 July, the Kriegers Flak platform was reached.

Elke Kwapis, project manager at 50Hertz, acknowledges the good cooperation with Energinet in this process and states: “These are great news. In the business everybody knows how complex the installation of submarine cables can become.” Especially in this case, it was even more challenging than usual, because the Baltic 2 platform was constantly in operation during the cable laying.

The submarine cables for the Danish-German offshore interconnector Combined Grid Solution of the TSOs 50Hertz and Energinet have been laid out. Picture: Screenshot taken from video “Combined Grid Solution (CGS) by 50Hertz and Energinet“ (50Hertz, YouTube)

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> See 50Hertz press release (html)

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XBID successfully launched

15.06.2018

After several years of complex and intensive development and testing, the Cross-Border Intraday (XBID) solution and ten XBID related Local Implementation Projects (LIPs) were finally initiated on 12 June, with first deliveries on 13 June. In order to create a single integrated European intraday market, several Nominated Electricity Market Operators (NEMOs) and nearly twenty transmission system operators (TSOs) from all over Europe collaborate in the XBID initiative. Among the TSOs are the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, Energinet, TenneT, and TransnetBW, as well as TSCNET client Creos from Luxembourg.

With a common IT system consisting of one shared order book, a capacity management module, and a shipping module, XBID bundles the whole European intraday continuous market and complements the existing day ahead market. From now on, continuous trading of electricity is possible across the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Most of the other European countries are to follow in a second XBID-wave in 2019.

The XBID solution for creating a single integrated European cross-border intraday electricity market was succesfully launched.

Linkup
> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
> See APG press release, in German (html)
> See Energinet press release (html)
> See TenneT press release (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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