Construction start of Slovenian-Hungarian interconnector

16.10.2020

A glance at the guest list of the official ceremony for the start of construction of the Cirkovce-Pince overhead line reveals that a major project has been launched here. The Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO) ELES had the honour to welcome both the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban to the opening event for the new construction. And indeed, the project is of historic proportions, as the 400kV AC line, a good 80 kilometres long, will be the first interconnector between the Slovenian and Hungarian transmission systems.

The double circuit line with 264 pylons will increase the operational reliability of the Slovenian transmission system and import transmission capacity, facilitate access to energy sources from the North and East, and allow for the integration of larger amounts of renewable energy from the whole region into the grid. The line runs from the Cirkovce substation in the northeastern Slovenian region of Lower Styria to the border settlement of Pince, which is not only on the Hungarian border, but also in the triangle of Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary. Therefore, in addition to the substation of the Hungarian TSO MAVIR in Hévíz in Zala County, the substation of the Croatian TSO HOPS in Žerjavinec near Zagreb can also be connected to the new line, truly a European Project of Common Interest (PCI). The power line will thus even interconnect three countries. The presence of Gordan Grlić-Radman, Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, confirmed the trinational dimension of the Cirkovce-Pince line.

At the ceremony with symbolic unveiling of the construction panel, Aleksander Mervar, CEO of ELES, illustrated the supraregional significance of the power line: “This project is of great importance not only for Slovenia but also for the wider region and Europe. That is why this project was included on the list of Projects of Common Interests in 2015, while in 2019 we managed to acquire €50m funds.” Mr Mervar also explained that the project, which includes major upgrades of switchgears in Cirkovce, is the largest investment in transmission infrastructure in the history of ELES, totalling some €150m. Finally, he emphasised the good cooperation of the three TSCNET shareholders ELES, HOPS, and MAVIR: “Without this cooperation, this project would surely not be happening today.”

ELES has started construction of the Cirkovce-Pince 400kV line, which will connect the transmission grids of Slovenia, Hungary, and Croatia (picture: ELES; from right to left: Gordan Grlić-Radman, Viktor Orban, Janez Janša; second from left: Aleksander Mervar)

Linkup
> See ELES press release (html)
> Visit project website (html)

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Delay for Interim Coupling

11.09.2020

To introduce single day-ahead coupling in a total of 23 European countries, the so-called 4M Market Coupling Countries (4M MC) – Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia – are to be connected to the Europe-wide Multi Regional Coupling (MRC) of the electricity market. The initiative to implement the MRC extension is the DE-AT-PL-4M project, also referred to as “Interim Coupling Project”. It aims to establish implicit capacity allocation based on Net Transfer Capacity (NTC) at six borders: PL-DE, PL-CZ, PL-SK, CZ-DE, CZ-AT, and HU-AT. The TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, APG, ČEPS, MAVIR, PSE, SEPS, TenneT, and Transelectrica – transmission system operators (TSOs) from Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia – participate in Interim Coupling.

After the project had completed the design phase and entered the implementation phase at the end of 2019, Interim Coupling was actually supposed to start in September 2020. The TSOs and Nominated Electricity Market Operators (NEMOs) involved have now announced that the kick-off must be postponed. This is due to several project parties experiencing local implementation bottlenecks in the first quarter of 2020 because of interrelations between ongoing parallel projects. This led to a delay of several months in the implementation activities for Interim Coupling. National regulatory authorities have asked the European Commission to provide guidance on how to proceed with this project. Market players will be informed as soon as possible about the next steps.

The start of the AT-PL-4M MC project has been postponed

Linkup
> See MAVIR press release, html
> See PSE press release, html
> See SEPS press release, html
> Open AT-PL-4M MC information paper provided by Transelectrica (pdf, 262.12kB)

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First successful device installation within FARCROSS

28.08.2020

The FARCROSS (FAcilitating Regional CROSS-border Electricity Transmission through Innovation) project, which started in October 2019, is a four-year project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. The objective of FARCROSS is to find solutions for increased regional cross-border cooperation in electricity transmission. The connection of regional key players in the energy value chain and the introduction of integrated hardware and software solutions are intended to tap additional resources for cross-border electricity flows. The FARCROSS consortium of 31 partners includes the transmission system operators (TSOs) from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, and Greece together with the TSCNET shareholders APG (Austria), Hops (Croatia), MAVIR (Hungary), and Transelectrica (Romania).

The three demonstration areas of FARCROSS are smart grid innovations, the development of regional system operations platforms to allow improved system operation forecasting on TSO level, and the optimisation of capacity allocation for regional cross-border trading. The technical grid solutions involve special line monitoring sensors, which are based on the Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) technology for real time overhead line monitoring. These sensors enable TSOs to optimise the utilisation of their transmission lines. The installation of DLR sensors is intended for four countries, and the Croatian TSO HOPS was the first to install such devices on the 220kV Senj-Melina transmission line a month ago. Since then, the sensors have been operating smoothly and the HOPS team of experts is pleased to have taken the first step towards the ambitious FARCROSS goals.

As part of the FARCROSS project, HOPS has installed monitoring sensors on the Senj-Melina overhead line to improve capacity utilisation (illustration using pictures by HOPS and FARCROSS H2020)

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

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Swapping numbers for people – the story of Mihály Kapás

09.07.2020

At the turn of the millennium Phil Collins sang his famous song “Son of Man” for Disney’s animated film “Tarzan”. There is a much-quoted verse in it: “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn. You’ll find your place beside the ones you love.” Although the world has changed considerably since this text was written, its message seems timeless: teaching and learning not only brings people together and promotes team spirit, but also creates an environment in which great ideas can be born and flourish. For Mihály Kapás, the new Senior Training & Licensing Manager in our Service Operations business unit, these lines are a constant inspiration and a kind of motto for his career.

The 37-year-old comes from Hungary, where he earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. After graduating, Mihály joined the Hungarian power transmission system operator (TSO) MAVIR and became a specialist in planning network operations. He stayed with the company for 14 years and gained important insights into the different departments and tasks of a TSO. Over time, Mihály realized that his true vocation in the energy world is not in numbers, but in working more closely with the people who form the backbone of the security of the European power grid. He decided to follow his passion and opened the door to the world of training, mentoring and coaching by completing an internationally recognized coaching programme and taking responsibility for internal training. Through his work he made contact with many colleagues from the energy world, including employees of TSCNET Services. Mihály states that this experience gave him the inspiration to move to our company from Budapest to Munich, as he felt that TSCNET and its employees were very much in line with his vision.

In his new role, Mihály will use the knowledge he has acquired over the years to support the different business units through customized training. “For me, TSCNET is a hub of people, ideas, and information,” states our most recent newcomer. “Whatever happens here, might have an effect on the whole system.” As someone who grew up in a multicultural family and already speaks English, Spanish and Russian apart from Hungarian, he is also looking forward to learning German in addition to his daily work tasks and to applying his diverse experience to his work with us. Since Mihály, like many of his new colleagues, loves motorcycling and likes to be in nature, this should be an exciting mixture. There are two popular quotes from Phil Collins that come to mind: “Deep inside us we’re not that different at all”, or, also from the “Tarzan” soundtrack, “Put your faith in what you most believe in”. Either way: Welcome to the team!

Mihály Kapás is the new Senior Training & Licensing Manager in our Service Operations business unit

Linkup
> See Mihály’s LinkedIn profile (html)

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Paper on MRC extension

26.03.2020

The so-called 4M Market Coupling Countries (4M MC) – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia – are to be connected to the Europe-wide Multi Regional Coupling (MRC) of the electricity market. This will introduce Single Day-Ahead Coupling across 23 European countries. The initiative to implement the MRC expansion is the DE-AT-PL-4M MC Project, also known as “Interim Coupling Project”. The relevant transmission system operators (TSOs) from Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia – the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, APG, ČEPS, MAVIR, PSE, SEPS, TenneT, and Transelectrica – are part of the project consortium.

The AT-PL-4M MC Project establishes implicit capacity allocation based on Net Transfer Capacity (NTC) at six borders (PL-DE, PL-CZ, PL-SK, CZ-DE, CZ-AT, HU-AT). The Nominated Electricity Market Operators (NEMOs) and TSOs participating in the DE-AT-PL-4M MC Project now have published an information paper for market participants containing key information on the project in a question and answer format. This information includes the main expected changes for the market, the planned communication methods with market participants and a high-level technical description of the market design to be implemented by the project.

The partners of the AT-PL-4M MC Project for integrating Czechia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia into MRC have published an information paper

Linkup
> Open AT-PL-4M MC information paper provided by MAVIR (pdf, 732.98kB)

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Multi Regional Coupling expanded by the end of 2020

17.12.2019

The Multi Regional Coupling (MRC) of the European electricity market is to be substantially enhanced by connecting the so-called 4M Market Coupling Countries (4M MC), i.e. the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, to the Europe-wide MRC. This will establish Single Day-Ahead Coupling across 23 European countries.

In preparation for this market integration, the so-called Interim Coupling Project (DE-AT-PL-4M MC Project) was launched. It has now completed the design phase and is entering the implementation phase. This provides the Nominated Electricity Market Operators (NEMOs) and transmission system operators (TSOs) from Austria (APG), Germany (50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW), Poland (PSE) and the 4M MC countries (ČEPS, MAVIR, Transelectrica and SEPS) with a sound basis for announcing the MRC inclusion for the third quarter of 2020.

The AT-PL-4M MC Project introduces implicit capacity allocation based on Net Transfer Capacity (NTC) at six borders (PL-DE, PL-CZ, PL-SK, CZ-DE, CZ-AT, HU-AT). The competent National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) welcome the progress made and the synergies from the project, which will facilitate the introduction of Flow-Based Market Coupling in the Core Capacity Calculation Region (Core CCR), which is the ultimate target.

The AT-PL-4M MC project for integrating Czechia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia into MRC has entered the implementation phase.

Linkup
> See PSE press release (html)
> See SEPS press release (html)
> Open joint press release (pdf, 216.14kB)

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András Biczók new CEO of MAVIR

16.07.2019

András Biczók was appointed CEO of TSCNET shareholder MAVIR, the Hungarian transmission system operator (TSO), with effect from 15 July 2019 after the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority approved the decision of the company’s supervisory board. He succeeds Kamilla Csomai, who resigned as CEO by mutual agreement at the end of June. Biczók studied in Germany, began his career in the financial sector and has been active in various branches of the international energy industry since 2015. Most recently he was CEO and chairman of the board of directors of the Hungarian company for natural gas storage MMBF Földgáztároló Zártkörűen Működő Részvénytársaság.

The main objective of the new CEO is to continue to guide MAVIR on its way to becoming the leading and most advanced player in the national energy sector. This means that the TSO addresses increasing electricity transport and consumption, decentralised electricity generation from renewable sources and the anticipated developments in energy storage with new approaches. Biczók comments: “While cooperating with the players of the dynamically changing energy market and regulatory authorities in a proactive manner, we have to do our utmost that one of the pillars of the country’s competitiveness, the electricity, shall be constantly and safely available in proper quality and quantity.”

András Biczók is appointed new CEO of MAVIR

Linkup
> See MAVIR press release (html)

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Vigour and wisdom – welcome, Kristóf and Ana!

08.07.2019

One male, the other female, one with decades of professional experience, the other with only three years in the profession at the beginning of her career – the two new hires in the Service Development Business Unit seem to be exemplarily diverse.

Let’s start with Kristóf Almási, the new Senior Business Implementation Manager. The 55-year-old Hungarian is well-known to many in our industry: For around 30 years he worked for one of our shareholders, the national electricity transmission system operator (TSO) MAVIR and its predecessor company. During this time, Kristóf also completed his MBA at the Technical University of Budapest, where he also earned an MSC in Electrical Power Engineering and a postgraduate MSC in Development Engineering. At MAVIR he has been involved in network operation planning since 2001, including network modelling and calculation, system protection, and international cooperation.

Assured of a good future
“For me, TSCNET is the company of the future that shapes the processes of the future,” says Kristóf, explaining why he moved here and thus abroad for the first time. In his function, he is primarily concerned with the implementation of new or changed tasks arising from the various requirements of the European institutions. The first task is the harmonisation of the system defence and restoration plans of the TSOs in cooperation with ENTSO-E. His experience and the fact that he knows the perspective of a TSO like the back of his hand are worth their weight in gold.

Is there anything else special about him? Definitely. He likes cycling, hiking, rowing and skiing – “with less and less intensity and more and more caution as I age,” he adds. He is a hobby musician, has been singing in a choir since his childhood and can even play the organ. And with one special aspect he has a real unique selling point: he is at least currently the only grandfather at TSCNET Services.

Don’t let the ball hit the ground
Ana Žanetić has been staffed as Business Analyst. In this function, the 28-year-old Croatian wants to continuously increase the efficiency of our company together with all her colleagues. After completing her Master’s in Electrical Power Engineering in 2015, Ana worked in planning and preparing the production of electrical generators and later as a software analyst for MES (Manufacturing Execution System) software and Business Intelligence Developer. At TSCNET, she can perfectly combine her professional interests in Power Systems and Business Analysis. And after work? Then she just loves to play volleyball (and is looking forward to some of her new colleagues on the court).

“A healthy mix of youthful vigor and traditional wisdom can give your business both stability and innovation,” writes the “D!gitalist Magazine”. We are delighted that with Kristóf and Ana we have brought on board just the right mix for Service Development.

TSCNET Services has welcomed Kristóf Almási and Ana Žanetić for the Service Development Business Unit

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Kamilla Csomai resigns as CEO of MAVIR

01.07.2019

The top management of TSCNET shareholder MAVIR, the Hungarian transmission system operator (TSO), is undergoing a change, after Kamilla Csomai successfully headed the company in the last challenging years. By mutual agreement, Mrs Csomai resigned from her CEO position with effect from June 21, 2019. The company’s Supervisory Board shall decide on the succession of the CEO later on.

Since 2010, Kamilla Csomai has held leading positions in the company, including Deputy CFO and member of the Supervisory Board as well as the Board of Directors. She has been CEO of MAVIR since 2015 and in this position has attached great importance to the company’s international and regional commitment, including European and regional cooperation initiatives. The departing CEO is also a member of the Board of Directors of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and Chairman of the Hungarian National Committee of the International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE).

Kamilla Csomai is leaving MAVIR (picture of Budapest, the capital of Hungary: Kirk Fisher, Pixabay)

Linkup
> See MAVIR press release (html)

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High-Level Market Design finalised

11.06.2019

It was only at the end of 2018 that the national regulatory authorities of Austria, Germany, Poland and the so-called 4MMC countries (Czechia, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia) requested the initiation of the interim project for an NTC-based market coupling (“Net Transfer Capacities”) between these countries. The parties involved in the DE-AT-PL-4MMC (“Interim Coupling”) project have completed the High-Level Market Design to be implemented and the national regulatory authorities have confirmed their support for the continuation of the project. This involves a total of eight TSOs that are shareholders and customers of TSCNET Services: 50Hertz (Germany), APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), MAVIR (Hungary), PSE (Poland), SEPS (Slovakia), TenneT (Germany), and Transelectrica (Romania).

The project aims to couple 4MMC and Poland as well as Multi-Regional Coupling (MRC) through the introduction of NTC-based implicit allocation on six borders (PL-DE, PL-CZ, PL-SK, CZ-DE, CZ-AT, HU-AT) and the implementation of a Single Day Ahead Coupling (SDAC). The project envisages a step-by-step transition at the above-mentioned boundaries from the current NTC-based explicit allocation to the flow-based implicit allocation to be implemented in the framework of the CoreFlow-Based Market Coupling Projectas target solution required by regulation. The Interim Coupling significantly contributes to the regional market integration and brings benefits to the market. The current planning envisages the go-live of the interim coupling for the second quarter of 2020.

The parties involved in the DE-AT-PL-4MMC project have completed the High-Level Market Design

Linkup
> Open joint press release (pdf, 331kb)

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