“Tremendous potential in self-learning systems”

26.03.2019

The “ZfK”, short for “Zeitung für kommunale Wirtschaft”, stands for the leading medium for municipal utilities as well as supply and disposal companies in Germany. One of the editors, Stephanie Gust, conducted an interview with Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services, which has now been published with the latest issue under the rubric “Nachgefragt” (“Enquired”).

In addition to the company’s role and tasks in the operation of the European electricity transmission grid, the talk also focuses on the potential of so-called Artificial Intelligence (AI). “At present, AI does not play a major role with us,” Neubauer regrets. Although the Munich-based Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) “works with very complex algorithms and mathematical models to calculate network bottlenecks or available capacities”, but “these systems are not yet self-learning” and do not yet issue reliable forecasts based on empirical values. “Here I see a very high potential for risk analysis in the future – both at the transmission grid level and in the distribution grids,” explains Neubauer. Due to the courtesy of the publishing house, we can offer the entire text (in German) here.

Maik Neubauer interviewed by “ZfK”, the German trade journal on municipal economy

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> Open “ZfK” interview, in German (pdf, 216kb), with kind courtesy of VKU Verlag GmbH, Munich
> Visit “ZfK” webpage (html)

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Tim Meyerjürgens appointed as new COO of TenneT

05.03.2019

When it was made known that Wilfried Breuer, one of the two Chief Operations Officers (COO) of TSCNET shareholder TenneT, would leave the company with effect from 1 April 2019, the Supervisory Board of the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) has commenced a thorough search for an adequate successor. Now Tim Meyerjürgens has been appointed COO of TenneT Holding BV alongside Ben Voorhorst.

Both the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board are pleased to have found in Tim Meyerjürgens a candidate within the company who, with 23 years of experience in the energy sector, possesses a broad technical and operational expertise. Throughout the current month, Tim Meyerjürgens and Wilfried Breuer will be working closely together to ensure a seamless handover.

Tim Meyerjürgens is appointed new COO of TenneT (illustartion based on pictures from Tennet)

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> See TenneT press release (html)

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Golletz appointed interim CEO at 50Hertz

15.02.2019

TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), is continuing its search for a permanent successor to Boris Schucht, CEO of the TSO, who will resign at the end of February 2019. Meanwhile, the 50Hertz Board of Directors has found a suitable temporary in-house solution and appointed the 50Hertz CTO Dr. Frank Golletz as interim CEO. He will combine his new role with his other duties as CTO.

Dr. Golletz has been a member of the Executive Committee of 50Hertz since 2011. He was previously Head of Assets  / Grid Projects and authorised officer. After his PhD in electrical engineering, he began his professional career at the Dresden Institute for Energy Supply (now DNV-GL) and also held managerial positions for the former German utility company VEAG. Chris Peeters, Chairman of the 50Hertz Board of Directors, expressed his appreciation for having “such a qualified and experienced leader on board to steer 50Hertz through the coming months”. Dr. Golletz commented that he felt honoured by the vote of confidence and thanked Boris Schucht for the “wonderful cooperation during the past nine years”.

Dr. Frank Golletz is appointed as interim CEO of 50Hertz (picture: 50Hertz / Jan Pauls)

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> See 50Hertz press release (html)

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Martin Durčák elected as new ČEPS Chairman

21.01.2019

Ing. Martin Durčák has been a member of the Board of Directors at TSCNET shareholder ČEPS, the Czech transmission system operator (TSO), since November 2018, where he was responsible for Economics as well as Information and Communications Technology. Last week, Mr Durčák was elected Chairman of the Board. “I really appreciate the Board of Directors’ trust and the opportunity to preside over a company with such strategic importance to the flawless functioning of the whole country’s economy,” comments Mr Durčák on his election.

Martin Durčák started his career in controlling and project management at Aral in Austria, Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. As CEO of Aral he joined the UNIPETROL holding company after the takeover of Aral. Durčák belonged to the Board of Directors of the parent company of the UNIPETROL Group before joining ČEPS. He was also executive manager of UNIPETROL RPA.

Prague-based ČEPS has elected Martin Durčák as new Chairman of the Board of Directors

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> See ČEPS press release (html)

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Lex Hartman resigns and TenneT adjusts management structures

02.01.2019

On 1 January 2019, personnel and structural changes at management level took effect at TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). To begin with, Managing Director Lex Hartman resigns from the Executive Boards of TenneT TSO GmbH and TenneT TSO B.V. In addition, the company’s governance structure, related to the ongoing process of refining TenneT’s development strategy, will be adapted to better achieve the TSO’s future objectives.

TenneT CEO Manon van Beek wholeheartedly thanks Lex Hartman for his “major contributions in the Executive Board to the development of TenneT” and especially emphasised his significant role for “the improvement of TenneT’s visibility and reputation in Germany”. Lex Hartman, who began his career with TenneT in 1999 and held various positions during his long term of office, has been a member of the Executive Board of TenneT Holding BV since 2008 and of TenneT TSO GmbH since 2010. Mr. Hartmann indicates the need for a personal change after more than 10 years “as a board member for this fantastic company” and further comments: “I am grateful that TenneT gave me the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to society.” However, Hartman will continue to serve the Executive Board as a strategic advisor.

As far as the new board structure is concerned, the Executive Board of TenneT Holding BV now consists of four directors: Manon van Beek (CEO), Otto Jager (CFO) and two COOs, Ben Voorhorst and Wilfried Breuer. The nomination of Wilfried Breuer is only temporary, as he has decided to accept a position as Technical Director at a manufacturer of power engineering technology. TenneT thanks Mr Breuer for his substantial contributions and commitment. In the first quarter of 2019, he will continue to work with the TSO, while the search for his successor has already begun.

Lex Hartman resigns from the Executive Boards of TenneT (picture: TenneT)

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> See TenneT press release on Mr Hartman’s resignation (html)
> See TenneT press release on management changes (html)

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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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Upcoming change in the 50Hertz management

05.12.2018

Since 2010, Boris Schucht has been CEO of TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). Before his engagement with 50Hertz, Schucht has already held senior management positions for companies from the energy sector such as Vattenfall Europe Venture GmbH or WEMAG AG. After nine successful years at the helm of 50Hertz, the CEO of the north-eastern German TSO now wants to face new professional challenges.

Boris Schucht and the 50Hertz Supervisory Board as well as the shareholders Elia and KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) on 4 December consensually agreed that the current CEO will manage 50Hertz up until 28 February 2019. Mr Schucht commented on the recent company evolution: “For 50Hertz, a new era begins after the share transfers this year. After nine very exciting and extremely successful years with a really great team, this is the right time for me to pass on the baton.” Chris Peeters, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, expressed his sincere thanks for Boris Schucht’s “dedicated contribution to the company’s success story”.

Boris Schucht will resign as CEO of 50Hertz (picture: 50Hertz / Jan Pauls)

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> See 50Hertz press release (html)

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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”.

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> 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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Guest at the German Energy Congress

12.09.2018

The 13th German Energy Congress (“13. Deutscher Energiekongress”) is a renowned and prominently attended industry meeting with a focus on energy policy and business models. The congress offers the opportunity for professional exchange and for the mediation of specialist information. It is aimed at high-ranking representatives of the German energy industry. The motto of this year’s congress is “Energy industry in transition”, taking place on 11 and 12 September at the event location of the “MVG-Museum” in Munich, Germany.

As an essential component of the congress, a “Political Evening” took place yesterday evening. This event was moderated by two journalists of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, one of Germany’s leading and opinion-forming daily newspapers. Next to high-profile political representatives ‒ Franz Josef Pschierer, the State Minister in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology, and Prof. Dr. Martin Neumann, Johann Saathoff and Dr. Julia Verlinden, three members of the German Bundestag with energy policy expertise but also with diverging energy policy ideas ‒ Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services, took part in the panel discussion.

In the discussion, Mr Neubauer focused on the role of the “energy market expert”, i.e. he did not only comment on political issues, but also provided information on the company TSCNET Services and gave an insight on the European Energy market development from the inside perspective of a Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) for the European power transmission grid. Together with Prof. Neumann from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Germany, he actively discussed the role of digitalisation as an enabler of the energy transition in Germany and very important element of future grid and energy market infrastructures. For all market players, maintaining system security in a rapidly and constantly changing energy market is undoubtedly one of the major challenges.

Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET, is one of the participants of the “Political Evening” at the 13th German Energy Congress in Munich

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> Open Energy Congress (Deutscher Energiekongress) programme, in German (pdf, 2mb)

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“E&M Powernews”: “Excellent overview of the grid”

27.07.2018

Largely unnoticed by the broad public, five European regional security coordinators (RSCs) are working on what is arguably the most important task for ensuring the security of electricity supply at continental level: a stable and secure transmission system. RSCs analyse critical grid situations from a regional perspective and advise their customers in order to avoid bottlenecks or even blackouts. One of them is TSCNET Services. A detailed background article published by “Energie & Management”, a renowned daily German print and online newspaper for the energy market, portrays the company and presents the special challenges that an RSC has to face every day.

For example, a critical situation occurred in the very cold January 2017. “Even though the redispatch coordination functioned well at that time, the emergence of grid bottlenecks has shown that in the course of the expansion of renewable energies in Europe, we need to identify critical conditions and developments even faster”, explains Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services. For this reason, TSCNET, in close cooperation with the partner TSOs, has established the “Critical Grid Situation Service” to facilitate communication between the RSC and the TSOs.

Close and seamless communication is crucial for TSCNET Services, because the RSC does not intervene in the transmission network itself, but gives recommendations for action. The final decision, however, lies with the responsible TSO, which can always rely on the validity of the information provided by TSCNET. To ensure this reliability, the specialists at TSCNET monitor the network flows in Central and Eastern Europe. This involves a lot of data: More or less 600,000 data series with a volume in the double-digit gigabyte range yield around 300 prognoses every single day – a “big data company with top advisory expertise”.

Still, the volume of data will continue to increase, especially in view of the implementation of the Common Grid Model (CGM) under the EU network codes. “Today, we still lack some data, especially about the situation at the interfaces to the distribution grids”, states Maik Neubauer. Once the individual grid models of the respective TSOs and the CGM have been established, the additional data also flows into the calculations of TSCNET. This will expand the RSC’s perspective and further optimise system operation. While critical situations affecting only two TSOs can be resolved bilaterally, it becomes more difficult, if several parties are involved. An incident in Poland, for instance, may well affect not only Germany but also the Czech Republic. In such a case, the central coordination provided by TSCNET is essential to anticipate problems or to calculate short-term effects.

Every day at 9:00 pm, TSCNET’s Daily Operational Planning Teleconference (DOPT) with the TSOs’ experts will be held to summarise system occurrences and to coordinate possible compensation measures for the next day. Though everyone involved is quite satisfied with this daily routine, the EU is also pursuing divergent plans. In the context of the European Commission’s “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, the idea of Regional Operational Centres (ROCs) came into being, which would extend the role of current RSCs by giving them operational responsibility. The TSOs – who would have to hand over competences – are sceptical, and also Maik Neubauer has clear positions in this regard. He points out the complexity of the European power system and the valuable experience of national TSOs. Mr. Neubauer therefore prefers to further improve regional coordination and to leave the operational business to the TSOs: “A Europe-wide centralisation of grid control would be a mammoth project with many risks and unknowns.”

“Energie & Management”, the well-esteemed German trade magazin for the energy market, released an article on the Munich-based RSC TSCNET Services.

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> Visit “E&M Powernews” website, in German (html)
> See “E&M Powernews” article, in German (pay to read the article)

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