Great progress of Strategic Grid 2025 in Switzerland


It was only two days ago that the Swiss electricity transmission system operator (TSO), TSCNET shareholder Swissgrid, announced the start of construction work on the new 380kV line in Canton Valais. Now the company has signalled the kick-off for building the 1.3km long line section at “Gäbihübel” near Bözberg/Riniken in the canton of Aargau, where the extra-high voltage cable for a 380kV line will be laid underground for the first time. The section is part of a line whose voltage will be increased from 220 to 380kV. The upgrade will increase the security of supply, particularly in the metropolitan areas of Zurich and Central Switzerland.

The technically challenging project is also regarded as an important step in the implementation of the so-called Strategic Grid 2025. The modernisation of the transmission grid is a key factor for a sustainable energy policy, which the country intends to implement with its Energy Strategy 2050. Each line project is developed in a multi-stage planning and approval procedure which involves federal offices, cantonal authorities, environmental associations, network operators and other stakeholders.

Swissgrid ground-breaking ceremony at “Gäbihübel” for the underground cabling near Bözberg/Riniken in the canton of Aargau (picture: Swissgrid)

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CGMES adopted by the IEC


The Common Grid Model Exchange Specification (CGMES) has been developed by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) in close cooperation with its member transmission system operators (TSOs). The CGMES is a key element of the wider Common Grid Model framework for the smartening of the European power system and has proven to be most suitable for regional coordination and pan-European data exchange.

Due to its high efficiency, CGMES has now been adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This move by the IEC has turned CGMES into an internationally recognised specification for the exchange of electricity data. According to Laurent Schmitt, ENTSO-E’s Secretary General, the adoption clearly manifests the innovative potential of the European power networks. Mr Schmitt expressed his thanks to “all who took part in this great success”, first and foremost mentioning “our member TSOs”.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

Picture: Edited screenshot taken from video “EU Common Grid Model” (ENTSO-E, YouTube)


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Future standards for grid model exchange


In order to meet the requirements of transmission system operators (TSOs) in terms of data exchange and network codes, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) is constantly striving to improve its data exchange format. In doing so, ENTSO-E conducted its sixth common information model interoperability test from 11 to 15 July at the network’s premises in Brussels, Belgium, in cooperation with 43 participants from TSOs, power suppliers and universities. The common information model for grid model exchange is meant to facilitate the exchange of data necessary for regional or pan-European grid development studies and for future processes related to network codes.

On 15 September, ENTSO-E has published its report on the interoperability test “Common Information Model for System Development and Operations 2016”. The test’s prime goal was to validate the data basis of the new version of ENTSO-E’s data exchange format (“ENTSO-E Common Grid Model Exchange Specification”). The format is based on standards set by the “International Electrotechnical Commission”. Grid model exchange is a complex process that covers a vast variety of use cases. Therefore the interoperability test involved a large number of products. The long-term objective of the periodic testing is the development of ENTSO-E’s own data exchange standard (“ENTSO-E Common Grid Model Exchange Standard”).

During the interoperability assessment ENTSO-E presented different new features of the “Common Grid Model Exchange Specification”. These extensions have become necessary mainly due to new obligations and business processes from a European network code perspective. The outcome of the successfully completed interoperability test meets the expectations of the participants. Detailed results and summaries are presented in ENTSO-E’s comprehensive report listing the specific test case files.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)


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Black-start capability for the Netherlands


There’s precious little chance of a major black-out happening in Europe. Nevertheless, transmission system operators (TSOs) have to ensure a so-called black-start option to put the power grid back into operation. TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO, and the Dutch energy firm Nuon obtained agreement to realise a black-start facility at Nuon’s Magnum power plant in Eemshaven (see picture) in the north of the Netherlands, available as of January 2018.

> See TenneT press release (html)

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RGI and ENTSO-E to cooperate closely


Last week, the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) and the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The memorandum is thought to be the inition of a long-term cooperation for responsible grid development in Europe.

The two organisations commit to undertake joint actions especially concerning practice exchange and promotion as well as regulatory and political aspects of grid infrastructure and its expansion. Both partners are going to benefit from this joint venture: On one hand ENTSO-E from RGI being a proficient interface between transmission system operators (TSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and on the other hand RGI from ENTSO-E’s outstanding status within the TSO community. Because of that, Antonella Battaglini, Chief Executive Officer of RGI, is convinced that the memorandum gives “a great opportunity for the two organisations to challenge each other and thus be even more effective in the future”.

By pointing out that “RGI and ENTSO-E both support legislative reforms that help create a power market and system that efficiently supports the decarbonisation of the economy”, Konstantin Staschus, Secretary-General of ENTSO-E, designates the principal common goal of the two signatories clearly. On their conjuncted way to achieving it, both associations express their wish for the grid expansion to have the least possible impact on nature and on the local communities.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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German TSOs publish GDPs


The four German transmission system operators (TSOs), TSC members 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT Germany, and TransnetBW, published the second drafts of both the Power Grid Development Plan 2025 and the Offshore Grid Development Plan 2025, presented to the German Federal Network Agency. The TSOs expect investment costs of up to €44bn (on- and offshore grid added together) by 2025. The documents in German can be downloaded for free (

> See German TSOs’ press release, in German (pdf, 134kb)

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ČEPS profit grow 52%


The Czech transmission system operator (TSO), TSC member ČEPS, grew profit before taxes by more than 52% (681m) to CZK2.0bn in 2015, influenced by higher revenues from system services and lower costs for the purchase of ancillary services. During the course of the year, the company spent CZK5.6bn on the renewal and development of the transmission system. Throughout the year, a total of 60,563 GWh of electricity was transferred.

> See ČEPS press release (html)


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TransnetBW starts line modernisation


By the end of February, TSC member TransnetBW, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), will start modernisation work on 380kV transmission line that runs from Zierolshofen (close to the city of Kehl) to Daxlanden (close to Karlsruhe) in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany. There are 160 pylons along the 60 kilometres long part of the line.

> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

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German GDPs published


Grid expansion is a pillar of Germany’s plans to shift to renewable energy from nuclear power and fossil fuels. A microsite in German and English offers the first drafts of the “Power Grid Development Plan 2025” and the “Offshore Grid Development Plan 2025”, presented by the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), TSC members 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT Germany and TransnetBW. Both documents are only available in German.

> Visit microsite “” (html)

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EC confirms Danish-German grid solution


The European Commission has now confirmed eligibility of the revised technical layout for the world’s first offshore interconnection using the national grid connections to offshore wind-farms. As part of the “Kriegers Flak: Combined Grid Solution”, TSC members and 50Hertz plan to establish a 400MW offshore interconnection between the Danish region of Zealand and German Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

> See press release (html)

> See EC site “Kriegers Flak: Combined Grid Solution” (html)

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