Swissgrid adjusts export capacities to Germany

03.09.2019

All participants in the integrated European electricity market have agreed on common definitions of the transmission capacity for international electricity exchanges, including the Net Transfer Capacity (NTC). The NTC is an important basis to anticipate and plan cross-border transactions. Thus, the establishment of NTCs is one of the essential tasks of the transmission system operators (TSOs) to enable market participants to carry out energy trading without jeopardising grid stability. TSCNET shareholder Swissgrid, the Swiss TSO, along with the neighbouring TSOs, determines the NTC values on all four Swiss borders on an annual, monthly and daily basis.

In the summer of 2019, Swissgrid had to reduce the NTC on the national northern border to Germany to ensure reliable grid operation. Originally, a static NTC value of 4,000 MW for exports from Switzerland to Germany had been defined with the neighbouring German TSOs. However, the load flows between the two countries have changed in the last two years. Situations in which Germany is dependent on imports, especially from Switzerland, occurred increasingly in the summer months. As a result, the previously typical north-south flow towards Italy reversed to a south-north flow towards Germany.

Other simultaneous factors also affected the Swiss grid load, such as the high level of Swiss hydropower production, the inspection times of the Swiss nuclear power plants and the seasonal decommissioning and construction work on the grid. In combination with the growth in exports to Germany, this led to significantly higher load flows in the Swiss 220kV grid, which were additionally reinforced by increased export opportunities from France to Germany through Flow-Based Market Coupling (FMBC) in the Central Western Europe (CWE) region and transit through Switzerland.

In fact, exports of up to 8,000MW were recorded on several days this summer. For this reason, Swissgrid, together with its neighbouring TSOs, has limited the NTC values for a secure grid operation. Swissgrid continues to cooperate closely with these TSOs to optimise cross-border capacity. The current static value of 4,000MW is expected to be substituted by seasonally adjusted dynamic NTC values. However, due to the implementation of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans Package” (CEP) of the European Commission, it is not yet possible to predict exactly how the NTC values at Switzerland’s northern border will develop.

Swissgrid adjusts the NTC values for electricity flows at the Swiss-German border

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> See Swissgrid news release (html)

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New Project Manager in Portfolio Management

08.08.2019

The origin and meaning of the name Monica are not fully clarified. It could come from the Greek Monos and mean something like “unique”, or from the Latin Monachus for “monk”. Both should be fine in the case of Monica Fabi, the new Project Manager in the Portfolio Management business unit. It’s simple with the monks – the city of Munich is named after the monks and therefore has a very similar name in Italian: Monaco. And the “unique” we adopt for Monica’s professional skills.

Born in Rome, she has been working in IT for around 20 years, mainly in application development and maintenance, and has mostly worked in international teams. The 46-year-old has been living in Munich for several years now and loves meeting people from all over the world and talking to them about their different habits and cultures. That’ s why TSCNET Services is the right place for her.

Monica studied mathematics at La Sapienza University in Rome and holds a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s largest project management organisation. She wants to use her experience and knowledge to help her new co-workers cope with the many challenges that projects present, from deadline pressure and task volume to budget. Ultimately, it’s all about customer satisfaction, explains Monica. “I want to contribute to the growth and success of the company – and continue to enjoy my work,” she adds.

Next to work, she enjoys reading, trekking, visiting art museums and studying new methods and techniques related to her discipline. Even the museum trips could prove helpful: “Being a Project Manager is like being an artist, you have the different coloured process streams combining into a work of art,” as her well-known colleague Greg Cimmarrusti puts it.

Monica Fabi, the new Project Manager in the Portfolio Management business unit (picture: TSCNET Services)

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Michela and Gopi, the newcomers in service operations

09.07.2019

TSCNET Services is on course for continued growth in order to meet the increasing demands with more and more services for our customers. In a booming region like Munich, this is not so easy. Our Business Unit Service Operations is pleased to announce two additional Junior Operations Managers: Michela Monaco and Gopi Jayasurian.

Michela Monaco comes from a small town near Pisa. Her father is Italian, but her mother comes from the Philippines. And actually her surname leaves her no choice but to move to Bavaria’s capital: Munich in Italian is Monaco, Monaco di Baviera to be exact. In addition, Munich has its reputation as “Italy’s most northern city”. The 26-year-old studied at Università di Pisa, first energy engineering for her bachelor’s degree, then electrical engineering for her master’s degree. Her thesis was also done at ABB’s Corporate Research Center in Ladenburg, Baden-Württemberg. So she already knows Germany.

At TSCNET, Michela wants to gain valuable experience and develop within the company with its open but challenging environment. To balance this out, she focuses on cooking, reading, hiking and above all her own vegetable garden with great home-grown tomatoes.

Gopi Krishnan Jayasurian is a 25-year-old electrical engineer from Kerala in the far south of India. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Electronics from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad, India, 2015 and received a Master’s of Science degree in Sustainable Energy from the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen by early 2019. During this time, he also spent several months as a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois in the USA studying large-scale optimisation techniques in power systems. Gopi has also gained some professional experience: as a support engineer at Amazon in India and as an intern in market modelling and system development and later as a market modelling advisor at ENTSO-E in Brussels, Belgium. As Junior Operations Manager, he has a lot in mind: “As the sky is the limit, I want TSCNET to grow overall, and I want to be an impetus for that growth. I want to help to improve the quality of our offerings, and make our operational security coordination processes best known worldwide.”

In his spare time Gopi likes to play acoustic guitar, especially Bollywood songs. What he likes about Munich is its mixture of pulsating metropolis and “authentic Indian retreats” (those were his words!) – and that doesn’t miss the beer gardens!

TSCNET Services has two additional Junior Operations Managers: Michela Monaco and Gopi Jayasurian

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Pylon repair started at Albula Pass

25.05.2019

The windstorm Adrian (Vaia in the German-speaking area) was one of the most devastating storms of the European storm season 2018-19, mainly affecting the northern Mediterranean and Alpine regions. It not only damaged the Venetian Basilica of San Marco and flooded 75% of Venice, but also destroyed transmission lines at the Albula Pass: In the night to 30 October 2018, four pylons from TSCNET shareholder Swissgrid, the Swiss transmission system operator (TSO) bent or collapsed at the high mountain pass in the Canton of Grisons.

Since then, the two affected 380kV lines (Filisur-Robbia and Pradella-Robbia-Sils) have been out of operation, as Swissgrid has decided for safety reasons not to erect a provisional connection with emergency masts in winter due to the danger of avalanches. Nevertheless, grid security in the transmission grid is ensured at all times and there have been no supply interruptions. While security and supply are guaranteed, however, transit capacity to Italy had to be reduced until the line is restored.

Swissgrid began repairing the 380kV lines in mid-April and is now replacing the four broken pylons whose foundations are currently being reconstructed. New pylons and the conductor ropes will then be installed. If everything goes according to plan, the two lines will go operational again at the end of July.

Swissgrid has commenced repair work on the damaged overhead lines at the Albula Pass (picture: Swissgrid)

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Welcome, Daniela! HR all without island status

02.12.2018

Sardinia is famous for its white sandy beaches, a wild, dreamlike nature, idyllic mountain villages and cultural treasures from around eight millennia. But the inhabitants of the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily are also known for their scepticism towards strangers – “whoever crosses the sea is a thief”, is a famous saying. But this does not at all apply to Daniela Sanna, a native of Sardinia. The new HR & Development Manager in the Corporate Services unit is on the contrary decidedly cosmopolitan and enjoys traveling.

The now 37-year-old has a Master’s degree in Communication Systems in International Relations from the University for Foreigners in Perugia (Università per Stranieri di Perugia) on the Italian mainland and has been to Poland and even to faraway Japan during her studies thanks to scholarships. Now she has spent several years working in recruitment, first in Italy, then in Germany. She has worked for such well-known companies as Intel, Texas Instruments, Airbus and Huawei. Also at TSCNET, she will focus on employee recruitment including on- and offboarding. Although the energy sector is new for her, there is a cross connection as well: Her father worked for Italy’s largest energy supplier.

Obviously, another Sardinian proverb seems to fit better in Daniela’s case: “When the wind comes, you should use it”. What is meant is that one should take an opportunity that comes up. We are pleased that the winds in the Tyrrhenian Sea led her to Munich and that she has seized the chance with us.

Daniela Sanna has started as a new HR & Development Manager in the Corporate Services unit

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Repairs at the Albulapass as of May 2019

16.11.2018

In the night to Tuesday, 30 October 2018, the hurricane Vaia damaged the power transmission lines of the TSCNET shareholder Swissgrid, the Swiss transmission system operator (TSO), at the Albula Pass in the canton of Grisons. Four overhead line masts bent or collapsed there. The two affected 380 kV lines Filisur – Robbia and Pradella – Robbia – Sils have since been out of service. The connection from Pradella to Robbia of the 380 kV line Pradella – Robbia – Sils was put back into operation on 31 October. In the meantime, the clearing work on site has been completed with the dismantling of the conductor ropes and the damaged masts with the help of a heavy-duty helicopter. The repair work has now been scheduled for late spring 2019: Repair work on the two defective 380kV lines will start in May next year.

Overall, the repair work on the high-alpine site is estimated to take two to three months. The lines are scheduled to be put back into operation at the end of July 2019. The failure of the two lines will not affect the security of supply in Switzerland or in the affected regions. However, transit capacity to Italy is somewhat limited: The monthly net transfer capacity (NTC) has been reduced by a total of 900MW.

Swissgrid has decided against a provisional solution with emergency masts for various reasons. In particular, safety concerns speak against a temporary solution. The erection of emergency masts in wintery high mountains involves many risks for man and material. In addition, the time window for a repair up to the first large snowfall would presumably be very narrow. After that, the risk of repair and operation increases considerably due to the weather conditions, for example snow and ice load or the increasing danger of avalanches as well as structural engineering conditions. The measures are being taken in close consultation with the Italian grid operator TERNA and other neighbouring TSOs.

Swissgrid announced to repair the damaged transmission lines at the Albula Pass in late spring 2019 (picture by Adrian Michael, Creative Commons, Wikimedia)

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Italy on a daily basis

03.08.2015

The D-2 NTC capacity calculation project for the transmission grid at the northern Italian borders has reached a major milestone with the start of the so-called external dry run phase: The values of the daily capacity calculation performed by experts of TSCNET Services and Coreso now get published on the website of the Capacity Allocation Service Company (CASC). The calculations are based on the inputs of the five transmission system operators (TSOs) involved (RTE, Terna, and the TSC members APG, Eles and Swissgrid). Congratulations to all involved!

> See CASC project website (html)

> See CASC values website (html)

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Grid aesthetics in Milan

19.05.2015

Today, the two-day workshop and field trip “Grid Aesthetics – How to engage stakeholders in landscape planning, design and aesthetics of grid infrastructure” started in Milan, Italy. The event with presentations, debate, and a simulation game is organised by the Renewables Grid Initiative in cooperation with the two EU-funded projects INSPIRE-Grid and BESTGRID. The Renewables Grid Initiative is supported by three of the TSC member TSOs (50Hertz, Swissgrid, and TenneT).

> See Grid Aesthetics webpage (html)

 

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G7 ministers visit converter platform

13.05.2015

This Monday and Tuesday, the energy ministers and their representatives of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States met in Hamburg, Germany, to discuss possibilities to ensure long-term sustainable energy security. One of the items on the agenda was the visit of HelWin alpha converter platform in the North Sea, operated by the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT.

See TenneT press release (html, in German)

See BMWi press release (html)

Image using a picture by BMWi / Maurice Weiss

 

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