Publications on HDVC reliability and the balancing market

13.12.2018

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has adopted positions on two systemically relevant topics for the European energy market: the electricity balancing market and the improvement of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system reliability. Two respective papers have been released by ENTSO-E. The first, a balancing guideline, gives a simplified overview of the target model of the European balancing energy market and explains the most important concepts and processes associated with this market and the platforms for the exchange of balancing energy products. In addition to the focus on the interaction of the different balancing processes, the legal framework of the target model is also briefly outlined.

In its position paper on HDVC reliability, ENTSO-E recognises HDVC as an increasingly important method of transmitting large quantities of electrical energy for the Europe-wide transmission grid. As new HVDC connections play a key role in the future development of the continental transmission system, the reliability, availability, compatibility and robustness of the technology will be crucial for market and system security. For future challenges, high system security and the needs of an efficient European integrated market, it is essential that the owners of HVDC installations, together with other relevant HVDC stakeholders, focus not only on technology innovation but also on further process development, HVDC network integration studies and the maintainability to be carried out by transmission system operators (TSOs). ENTSO-E strongly supports more efficient cooperation between all HDVC players.

ENTSO-E has released a European electricity balancing guideline as well as a position paper on improving the reliability of HVDC systems  (picture of HVDC Plus IGBT converter modules: Siemens AG, www.siemens.com/presse)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release on balancing market (html)
> Open Balancing Guideline (pdf, 892.3kB)
> See ENTSO-E press release on HDVC reliability (html)
> Open HDVC paper (pdf, 1.8MB)

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“RiffReporter” story: The more precise the forecast, the less intervention is required

11.12.2018

A detailed article by freelance journalist Daniela Becker on the German reportage website RiffReporter, an innovative and award-winning project for “quality journalism on future topics”, presents TSCNET Services and the work of a Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) for the European power transmission grid. The article is based on thorough research and a talk with the two TSCNET managing directors, Maik Neubauer and Uwe Zimmermann. Besides the development of the company, the possible consequences of the EU package “Clean Energy for All Europeans” are also discussed.

An article on TSCNET Services has been issued on the reportage platform RiffReporter (picture: TSCNET Services / Quirin Leppert)

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> Read RiffReporter article, in German (html)

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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

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> Visit Euroforum Conference website, in German (html)

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Substantial advancements in market integration

07.12.2018

Even two positive news for the integration of the European power market have turned up this week. The first comes from the Cross-Border Intraday (XBID) solution. The aim of XBID is to increase the overall efficiency of cross-border trading and intraday coupling. Both are essential for the future European internal energy market. The parties involved in XBID are pleased to confirm that XBID is operating continuously stable and effectively: Since the go-live in June 2018, more than 6.3m trades have been successfully processed.

So far, XBID delivers continuous trading across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. The preparations for the second XBID-go-live-wave in 2019 are in full swing and the countries to participate are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Further changes to XBID concern the gate opening hours (GOTs) in accordance with a decision of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) of April 2018. Revised GOTs apply from 1 January 2019 initially in those capacity calculation regions (CCRs) where the capacity calculation methodology (CCM) has already been approved.

This week also saw the launch of the Single Allocation Platform for long-term capacity allocation at European borders. 28 transmission system operators (TSOs) from 22 European countries have thus taken another significant step towards an integrated power market. The new platform promotes the development of liquid and competitive forward markets all across Europe in a coordinated manner. It provides market participants with the opportunity to hedge against the risks of cross-border trading. The participating TSOs ensure non-discriminatory access for all market participants to long-term cross-zonal capacity at all relevant borders.

With XBID and the Single Allocation Platform, the European power market integration progresses substantially

Linkup
> See Amprion press release (html)
> See TenneT press release, (html)
> See TransnetBW press release (html)
> See TransnetBW news release on allocation platform (html)

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ACER consultation on Core Capacity Calculation methodology

04.12.2018

Complex issues require precise phrasing. Therefore the new public consultation of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) is called: “Public Consultation on the amendments of the proposal for common capacity calculation methodology for the Core region”. The consultation has opened on 4 December and will be accessible until midnight on Christmas Eve. Invited to participate are all interested stakeholders, including regulatory authorities, nominated electricity market operators (NEMOs) and transmission system operators (TSOs).

What exactly is the objective of the survey? The Capacity Calculation Methodology (CCM) quantifies the electrical capacity that can be offered across borders to the day-ahead and intraday markets. The Core CCM is valid within the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR), which comprises Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The TSOs from the Core CCR – among them are the twelve TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, ČEPS, ELES, HOPS, MAVIR, PSE, SEPS, TenneT, Transelectrica and TransnetBW – have conceived and proposed amendments to the Core CCM.

The competent regulatory authorities of the Core CCR have not yet approved the TSO proposal and asked ACER to decide on whether the modified Core CCM complies with the European Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM) Regulation. Interested parties are invited to provide feedback on the consultation questions concerning the relevant aspects of the Core CCM.

ACER launches public consultation on the compliance of the Core CCM proposed by the Core TSOs with the European CACM Regulation

Linkup
> See ACER press release (html)
> Direct access to consultation (html)

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SIREN project successfully concluded

03.12.2018

After a term of three years, the Croatian research project “Smart Integration of RENewables” (in short: SIREN) has been brought to a satisfactory completion by the project partners, one of whom is TSCNET shareholder HOPS, the transmission system operator (TSO) from Croatia. Together with the Croatian Science Foundation, HOPS was also the funder of the scientific research on the optimisation of current and the development of new system management strategies for the large-scale integration of volatile electricity capacities from renewable sources.

An assessment of the capacity of the transmission grid and the production units was carried out in order to determine flexibility requirements. As second part of the project, the potentials of energy storage units in the transmission system – e.g. pumped-storage power plants, battery systems or flywheels – were evaluated. Finally, also regulatory aspects of the large-scale integration of storage solutions were subject of the research.

Notwithstanding the successful and timely development of solution models and implementation propositions, HOPS will by no means cease its activities in this future-oriented sector. The H2020 project within the CROSSBOW project (“CROSS BOrder management of variable renewable energies and storage units enabling a transnational Wholesale market”), in which HOPS is actively involved, is a kind of continuation of SIREN. The multi-partner project CROSSBOW with a focus on Southeast Europe was launched in November 2018 in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, with HOPS presiding over one subproject and one working package.

The SIREN project on the integration of the renewables and grid optimisation has been successfully completed

Linkup
> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)
> Visit SIREN website (html)

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Satellite technology for grid optimisation

30.11.2018

Power lines run above and below the ground or also under the sea – hence, the business of the European transmission and distribution system operators (TSOs and DSOs) tends to be ground-based. Sometimes, however, a glimpse into the sky might inspire us to find new approaches to make the European power system even more efficient and reliable in the future.

This is perhaps how representatives of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and the European Distribution System Operators Association (EDSO) have come to the question of how satellite applications can support the European power grid and its evolution. Anyway, together with the European Space Agency (ESA) the two operator organisations have entered on 29 November into a cooperation on the deployment of satellite technology for grid optimisation.

The cooperation will be implemented through ESA’s Business Applications programme, designed to support the development of new services using data from space assets. Satellite applications can support power grids in many areas, e.g. facilities management, two-way communication between smart meters and operators, prediction of consumption or generation peaks, development of Internet-of-Things related services, or the use of virtual power plants.

Nick Appleyard, Head of ESA’s Business Applications Department, highlights the potential of satellite communication for the allocation of renewable energy generation volumes and grid balancing. Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General of ENTSO-E, agrees and sees “opportunities to enhance real-time grid management through using available space technologies”. Mr Schmitt concludes: “This cooperation will identify business cases where both sectors can support each other and deliver benefits for the European consumer.”

ENTSO-E, EDSO and ESA enter into cooperation on the deployment of satellite technology for grid optimisation (picture: ESA)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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Winter 2018/19: supply largely secured – monitoring required

28.11.2018

Where are congestions most likely to occur? What are the most important risks to the stability of the pan-European electrical transmission system and supply security in the upcoming winter? As every year, the Winter Outlook 2018/2019 – the supply security forecast of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) – tries to answer these and other significant questions as validly as possible in order to provide a reliable risk assessment for the next European electricity winter.

Good news first: The risks to the security of supply in the approaching cold season are moderate and supply is secured under normal conditions. Nevertheless, close monitoring is required in the event of cold spells. ENTSO-E pays particular attention to an area including Belgium, France, northern Italy, central northern Italy and Slovenia, which is partly due to unforeseen and delayed maintenance of production units in Belgium. In particular in January and February, monitoring will be necessary in the event of outages in connection with low wind and solar energy generation.

The Winter Outlook considers a number of factors that are relevant to safety analysis, such as hydro reservoirs, gas supply and changes in generation. This year’s edition reveals that the decline in conventional generation is persisting, while the increase in installed renewable generation capacity is higher than last winter. As usual, ENTSO-E presents the Winter Outlook together with an overview of the events of previous summer, that was characterised by far above-average temperatures, especially in northern and eastern Europe. This led to some local electricity supply disruptions in the Czech Republic, Croatia and Greece.

ENTSO-E has released the Winter Outlook 2018/2019, a consistent analysis of EU-wide risks to supply security

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Open Winter Outlook 2018/2019 (pdf, 5.23MB)

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“Mastering the energy transition on a pan-European basis”

19.11.2018

The “THEMEN:magazin” is a German-language medium that reports every two months “on the challenges, opportunities and perspectives of the economy with a focus on energy policy”. In the latest issue (5/2018), readers will also find an interview with Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services. It followed the Conference on Electricity Security Coordination (ElSeC) 2018 in Brussels, the #PowerCoordinationEurope.

The hot and dry summer of 2018 was a good example of extreme weather conditions that required top performance from transmission system operators, explains Neubauer. Wherever lines fail or threaten to fail, countermeasures must be taken immediately during operation. The interaction between transmission and distribution networks must also function smoothly. TSCNET Services supports these complex processes as a Regional Security Coordinator (RSC).

At the centre is a range of services relating to grid congestion management for transmission system operators (TSOs) to ensure a high level of grid security in Europe against the background of the rapidly growing share of renewable energies within the energy mix. Especially the high generation volatility of PV and wind farms leads to significantly higher demands on the monitoring and management of the European transmission grids.

TSCNET can at any time take advantage of a huge amount of data from almost all European network operators to calculate the network situation in the next hours and days and to identify possible congestions. “We thus act as an early warning system for the identification of potential dangers in the network, continuously evaluate these with our TSO partners and can thus counteract potential blackout situations in Europe in a concerted manner,” summarises Neubauer.

In general, the European high-voltage grid is technically very stable and resilient, but often the limits are reached in the meantime, also because of the slow expansion of the grid. In the coming years, too, secure network operation is still only conceivable with considerable redispatch measures. The electricity from German offshore wind farms in the North or Baltic Seas does not stop at the border. The so-called ‘Clean Energy Package’ also changes the framework conditions throughout Europe. The energy transition is not a German project, but must be mastered on a pan-European basis.

In its current issue, the German-language “THEMEN:magazin” features a detailed interview with Maik Neubauer on TSCNET Services being the “congestion messenger for Europe’s power highways”.

Linkup
> Open “THEMEN:magazin” interview (pdf, 275kb)
> “THEMEN:magazin” website (html)

Questions?
Christoph Meinersmann
TSCNET Services, Communications/PR (external consultant)
E-mail: c.meinersmann@extern-tscnet.eu

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TSOs support ENTSO-E to prevent frequency deviations

13.11.2018

The Continental European (CE) Power System which comprises the synchronised transmission grids of 25 countries has been subject to occasional deviations from the 50Hz mid-frequency since late 2017. Each time the deviations originated from the Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro (SMM) control block, specifically from the control areas of Kosovo and Serbia – an example of how a regional conflict in an interconnected system can have pan-European impacts. The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has consistently undertaken efforts to find a political solution to the problem, and the CE transmission system operators (TSOs) have pledged their support in addition to the technical measures they are implementing anyway to limit the deviations.

Obviously, the problem is not only an issue for ENTSO-E and its members, but also of interest to the general public. It needs to be solved in order to keep the system consistently stable, to avoid further time deviations in electronically controlled watches, to limit financial effects, and ultimately to avoid a potential blackout in Europe. Considering the next winter period, this should happen in the short term. ENTSO-E is therefore in close and continuous exchange with the two responsible TSOs, EMS from Serbia and KOSTT from Kosovo, and has the task of facilitating a solution between the TSOs.

ENTSO-E’s Regional Group CE, which represents all transmission system operators of the 25 countries in the CE synchronous area, voted last week on a proposal to put an end to the deviations. The suggestion aims to provide a basis for a transitional solution and does not impose a principle on either of the two TSOs. ENTSO-E’s proposal was widely supported by the TSOs, although the work-in-progress version of the operational principles could not be approved. ENTSO-E continues its discussions with EMS and KOSTT.

The continental European TSOs support ENTSO-E in preventing further frequency deviations in the synchronised European power system (picture: photo composition using screenshots of Swissgrid’s frequency monitor and a press picture from Swissgrid)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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