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)

See article on single page

Building permit for the Uckermark line of 50Hertz

13.08.2020

Since 2005, 50Hertz, the transmission system operator (TSO) from the north-east of Germany, has been engaged in the planning of the new, higher capacity Uckermark Line (“Uckermarkleitung”). The new 380kv overhead line is to replace the existing 220kv line that went into operation in 1958, whereby the TSCNET shareholder takes account of the growing relevance of renewable energies in its control area. The new Uckermark Line will run from the Bertikow substation near Prenzlau to the Neuenhagen substation in the north-east of Berlin and connect further substations, one of which is an important interconnector to Poland. It will be capable of transmitting up to five times more electricity, so that in future more wind and solar power from the German states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania can be transported to the southern consumption centres.

The start of construction of the 115-kilometre-long new line was delayed for reasons of bird protection: A German nature conservation association had filed a complaint against the planning approval decision granted in 2014. This necessitated a supplementary planning procedure, expert reports on bird protection, consultations, and modifications. The competent authority now granted the building permit, which maintains 50Hertz’ originally planned routing. The future Uckermark Line will no more affect the biosphere reserve Schorfheide-Chorin and thus pays considerable attention to nature conservation. Special permits have been issued for other bird sanctuaries that cannot be bypassed due to their size, including compensation measures to preserve biodiversity. The dismantling of the old power line plays an important role here, but also bird protection markers or special pylons with reduced height.

50Hertz has been cooperating for several years with various nature conservation organisations and ornithological observatories to better assess the possible threats to birds. A nationwide cooperative portal of TSOs and distribution system operators (DSOs) in conjunction with the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) for data on detected accident birds is particularly noteworthy in this context. To increase acceptance of a project as essential for the energy transition and climate protection as the Uckermark Line, it is important to reconcile the substantial ecological added value of the capacity expansion with other nature conservation interests. Hence, the commitment of 50Hertz both to the ecologically necessary grid extension and to other environmental interests is highly to be appreciated.

50Hertz has obtained construction permit for the new 380kV Uckermark line (symbolic picture: 50Hertz) 

Linkup
> See 50Hertz press release (html)

See article on single page

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)

See article on single page

Study on German-Polish TSO cooperation

16.01.2020

The two transmission system operators (TSOs) and TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz from Germany and PSE from Poland jointly conducted the “German-Polish Study on cooperation between TSOs PSE and 50Hertz in long-term and mid-term perspectives”, which now has been finalised. The study was supported by the respective national Ministries responsible for energy.

As its title suggests, the study is divided into an investigation of medium-term and long-term cooperation objectives. The mid-term part aims at improving the coordination of the operational planning processes. The following issues, among others, have been identified as important: improving the quality of forecasting of power flows at the German-Polish border and the coordinated use of cross-border remedial measures such as phase-shifting transformers as well as bilateral and multilateral redispatch. To better predict cross-border flows, PSE and 50 Hertz agreed to support the development of a flow-based methodology, and as far as the remedial measures are concerned, advanced software solutions are required. However, not only the development of an IT tool is needed here, but also advanced coordination and cost sharing in a region-wide mechanism.

For the long-term study, a modelling process carried out by the National Centre for Nuclear Research in Warsaw was used, which was consulted and monitored by experts from both TSOs. Using alternative scenarios, different time frames and market simulations, the main trends in German-Polish electricity exchange as well as future challenges for regional markets and networks were identified, such as interconnector capacities, growth of energy demands or deviating energy prices.

50Hertz and PSE have conducted a joint study on German-Polish TSO cooperation (picture: Andreas Vogel / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Linkup
> See PSE press release (html)
> See 50Hertz webpage on the study, in German (html)
> Open Executive summary (pdf, 538.47kB)

See article on single page

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)

See article on single page

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)

See article on single page

Agreement on synchronous interconnection

01.06.2019

There are five synchronous electricity areas in Europe: Continental Europe (CE), Nordic, Baltic, British and finally the area of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The CE area with the synchronised transmission grids of 26 countries is not only the largest in Europe, but also one of the largest interconnected power systems worldwide. The synchronisation of the Baltic area with CE is of strategic importance for the European Energy Union, one of the political priorities of the European Commission. Currently, the Baltic system is only asynchronously linked to CE between Lithuania and Poland through the “LitPol Link” and at two points to the Nordic region.

An application for a future synchronisation of the Baltic and CE systems was made by the three Baltic transmission system operators (TSOs) Elering, AST and Litgrid with support from TSCNET shareholder PSE, the Polish TSO. The European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) has now announced the first landmark for the project: An agreement on the conditions for a synchronous interconnection became effective on 27 May 2019. Synchronisation will enable the Baltic TSOs to operate their systems in the future at the same frequency as the CE system and in compliance with EU rules.

An agreement on the conditions for synchronous interconnection of the Baltic and CE energy systems has entered into force (picture of Riga by Aleksejs Bergmanis / Pixabay)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

See article on single page

Phase-shifting transformers stand the test

29.08.2018

In Röhrsdorf in Saxony, Germany, the international conference “Controlling load flows. Strengthening European electricity trading”, organised by the German power transmission system operator (TSO) 50Hertz, a shareholder of TSCNET Services, brought together more than 40 experts to discuss the first experiences with the coordinated use of so-called phase-shifting transformers (PSTs) in Poland, Czechia and Germany. The PSTs put into operation in the past two years allow load flows in the alternating current grid to be better controlled, even between neighbouring countries. In the past, in connection with the German energy transition and electricity trading to southern Europe, there had been an increase in “unplanned loop flows” via Poland and Czechia, some of which had led to a high load on their grids and which practically brought cross-border electricity trade to a standstill.

The coordinated use of PSTs with the Czech TSO ČEPS and the Polish TSO PSE enabled a significant reduction in “unplanned loop flows”, said Dr. Dirk Biermann, Chief Markets & System Operations Officer at 50Hertz. “This is a very pleasing development, because it has relieved the load on the networks of our Polish and Czech neighbours and we can also provide more capacity at the border coupling points for European electricity trading in the future,” explains Biermann. Load flow control with PSTs had very positive effects on the efficient use of the existing power grid. This will be even more important in the future in order to successfully advance the energy transition with an ever increasing share of renewable energies while maintaining a high system stability.

TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, ČEPS, and PSE draw a positive interim balance on the use of phase-shifting transformers (illustration using pictures of 50Hertz / Jan Pauls and www.siemens.com/press)

Linkup
> See 50Hertz press release (html)

See article on single page

PSE presents diagnosis of energy market

29.06.2018

As a European transmission system operator (TSO), the Polish TSCNET shareholder PSE is well aware of its responsibility for the continental electricity market in its entirety and for transnational supply and system security. That is whay PSE is thoroughly monitoring market developments and how regulatory specifications affect them. The company identifies several main challenges that force the European TSOs to reconsider the fundamentals of the European energy market, first of all the increase of decentralised generation due to the growing role of the renewables or consumer production.

Eryk Kłossowski, President of the PSE Management Board, clearly expresses PSE’s attitude to the current setting of the course, and especially the debate on market design: “It is the most important dispute concerning the electricity industry”. In order to assume an important role within this discussion, PSE publishes from now on a series of position papers concerning the European electricity market. The first of these, “The European Electricity Market ‒ diagnosis”, soundly deals with such important aspects as the sizing of bidding zones and cross-zonal exchange.

 

The Polish transmission system operator PSE has published a position paper on the European energy market design.

Linkup
> See PSE press release (html)
> Open “Diagnosis” (pdf, 2,28MB)

See article on single page

TSCNET Services welcomes SEPS as shareholder

11.06.2018

TSCNET Services is the result of an initiative of European transmission system operators (TSOs), and to this day our company is characterised by a particularly close relationship with our customers, most of whom are also our shareholders. Today we can proudly welcome the Slovak TSO, SEPS (Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava, a. s.), as the new, 14th shareholder. To mark this occasion, we have published a press release on SEPS’ participation as a shareholder.

The Slovak transmission grid consists of 2.138 km of 400 kV lines, 826 km of 220 kV lines and from historical reasons also 80 km of 110 kV lines and is connected with four neighboring countries: Czechia, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine – Burshtyn island. With the exception of the Ukraine, all neighboring TSOs are shareholders and customers of TSCNET. SEPS is solely responsible for electricity transmission throughout the country.

“A quick glance at the map is enough to see that with SEPS’ entry we are now completing the electricity security coordination in the central-eastern part of the continental transmission system” says Uwe Zimmermann, one of the two Managing Directors of TSCNET. “This move will further foster the security of supply in this region and underpins our ambition to further improve the already high quality of our security coordination services.” As a shareholder with full voting rights, SEPS can now also actively contribute to steering and developing the service company.

View of the Slovak capital Bratislava as seen from the Danube. In the background the famous castle. Picture: Džoko Stach, Pixabay.

Linkup
> Open TSCNET Services press release (pdf, 119kb)

Questions?
Press contact: Christoph Meinersmann
E-mail: c.meinersmann@extern-tscnet.eu

See article on single page