High-Level Market Design finalised


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

> Open joint press release (pdf, 331kb)

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Agreement on synchronous interconnection


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)

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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Phase-shifting transformers stand the test


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)

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

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PSE presents diagnosis of energy market


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.

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

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TSCNET Services welcomes SEPS as shareholder


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.

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

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

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Interactive annual report from PSE


The business conduct of any transmission system operator (TSO) has an enormous impact on its environment. For the example of Poland, this is profoundly documented in the recently published integrated annual report of TSCNET shareholder PSE, the Polish transmission system operator. In addition to the overview of the company, the report presents the PSE’s new strategy and initiatives to ensure present and future security of the electricity system. The publication format of the report complies with these innovative business strategies as it is published in a well-designed interactive format employing state-of-the-art technology.

The new integrated report is PSE’s first to combine a sustainability report with financial data. Another feature is the inventive PSE value creation model, which is based on the three areas of market, infrastructure and investment as well as people and relationships. In his statement on the report and the company’s involvement in socio-political issues, Eryk Kłossowski, President of the PSE Board, emphasises the importance of implementing a capacity market: “This will significantly contribute to the improvement of system operation security, and hence support PSE in the fulfilment of its duties as TSO.”

> See PSE press release (html, with access to report)

Picture: PSE / Picture from PSE’s interactive annual report

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50Hertz PSTs in regular operation


The transmission systems of the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), ČEPS, the Czech TSO, and PSE from Poland are interconnected in the tri-border region of Germany, Poland, and Czechia. To better control the cross-border electricity flows and to increase cross-border capacities, not only close cooperation between these TSOs is an absolute requirement, but also the appropriate technical features. For this reason, all three TSOs started to equip substations near the border with phase-shifting transformers (PSTs) a few years ago.

After a successful three-month trial, 50Hertz put two PSTs at its Röhrsdorf substation in Saxony into regular operation, additionally improving the control of electricity flows between Czechia and Germany. The two 50Hertz PSTs complement their northern Bohemian counterparts in Hradec u Kadaně operated by ČEPS. Further reconstructions in Röhrsdorf are still to follow, before the PSTs can also be switched into the directions of Dresden, Streumen, and Remptendorf. In an expected two years, the PSTs will thus also stabilise the transmission in the southern control area of 50Hertz and make the grid more effective.

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

Picture: 50Hertz


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Munich, there and back! TSCNET sees Łukasz off


According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, change is the only constant in life. At TSCNET Services, the most obvious change is inherent in the system and sort of natural: Experts from one of our shareholders and customers leave their current job and their home country to join TSCNET – and return home later with loads of new knowledge and experiences. This time we had to say goodbye to one of our operators: Łukasz Bobowski, who came from PSE (Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne), the Polish transmission system operator (TSO).

After one and a half years, Łukasz turns back to PSE and takes up his former position – well, the former position with a new aim: Becoming a dispatcher in the national control centre and being responsible for the network security analysis during the shift. Although it is hard to say goodbye, it is great to see that one of the key ideas of our company works.

“Here at TSCNET, I have extended my special knowledge of power systems, which will be of great benefit in my future career. I am looking forward to rejoining to PSE and to making my team stronger with added capabilities and connections,” says Łukasz. On the other hand Łukasz admits, that he also feels a bit nostalgic about leaving Munich and separating from his co-workers: “Of all the experiences I made, the best one is that I have met a bunch of great people! I will miss the city of the world’s most famous beer festival, the beautiful Alps which I have visited almost every free day between my shifts, but most of all I will miss my new friends.” With Łukasz being back at one of TSCNET’s shareholders, we stand a excellent chance of staying in touch and even working together again. We wish you all the best back in Warsaw!

> See PSE corporate website (html)


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PSE on the EU Clean Energy Package


The “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package by the European Commission (EC) is a bundle of measures providing a legislative framework for the energy transition. In view of the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and the future vison of an European Energy Union, the proposals of the package are intended to make the European energy sector more stable, competitive, and sustainable. TSCNET shareholder PSE, the Polish transmission system operator (TSO), has published two profound position statements on important aspects of the EU package, namely the electricity market model and new rules for applying capacity mechanisms respectively.

PSE suggests several modifications to the EC’s concept. Concerning the market model, the Polish TSO prefers a nodal model instead of the zonal one proposed in the package. A nodal model is considered capable of correctly reflecting specific economic aspects and conditions necessary for the safe operation of electric power systems. Additionally, the model should include a mechanism to procure electricity and capacity reserves within an integrated process. As far as PSE is concerned, these solutions would ensure efficient and secure transformation of the European power system.

With regard to the proposed rules for applying capacity mechanisms, PSE holds the opinion that in addition to an “energy-only market” the introduction of a capacity market is essential. EU regulations should promote such a capacity market in order to provide a competitive instrument for ensuring adequate electricity generation in a long-term perspective.

> See PSE press release (html, with access to the position papers)

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Polish-Baltic TSO cooperation


TSC member PSE, the Polish transmission system operator (TSO), has launched a research project together with the TSOs Augstsprieguma tīkls AS (AST) from Latvia, Elering from Estonia, and Litgrid from Lithuania to integrate the Baltic power systems into the operational standards of continental Europe. The project for dynamic studies to identify technical conditions of the Baltic States’ synchronisation with the system of continental Europe got officially started on 29 September 2017 in Konstancin-Jeziorna in the metropolitan area of the Polish capital of Warsaw. During the first project meeting of representatives from the four TSOs and ENTSO-E, the partners agreed on establishing a steering committee and an expert group.

> See PSE press release (html)


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