RSC future perspectives: integrate, cooperate, and digitise


The annual conference “Future Power Grids” (“Zukünftige Stromnetze”) brings together key players from the German energy sector with a focus on power grids to facilitate a prolific exchange between politics, research and industry. This was once again the case this year when, under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, energy experts met in the German capital of Berlin on 29 and 30 January. “Future Power Grids 2020” was technically chaired by Christian Schorn, Head of Asset Management and Operations at TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, the transmission system operator (TSO) from the southwest of Germany.

Among the representatives of research institutions, ministries, authorities, NGOs and energy companies were Thomas Dederichs, head of energy policy at TSCNET shareholder and German TSO Amprion, and Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of the Munich-based regional security coordinator (RSC) TSCNET Services. Mr. Dederichs spoke about the role of transmission grids in the further development of market design, while Mr. Neubauer, under the heading “The European Perspective – Integration of Renewables and Grid Security”, gave an overview of the history, services, tasks and challenges of European RSCs in general and TSCNET services in particular.

New Challenges for transmission infrastructures
Neubauer depicted the highly meshed European power transmission grid as one of the most complex critical infrastructures in the world and the function of the RSCs as an early warning system for the European TSOs to identify potential risks in the system. RSCs assess these risks continuously and in a coordinated manner and counteract potential congestions and power failures. The establishment of the RSCs was a reaction of the European Commission (EC) to a Europe-wide power outage in 2006 with under- and over-frequencies, which affected around 15 million people across Europe.

The increase in volatile renewable energies in the system further intensifies the need for the work of the RSCs. However, the tasks of the RSCs based on the third and fourth EC Clean Energy Package – e.g. security and risk analysis, capacity calculation, short term adequacy forecasts and longer-term outage planning coordination – depend on intensive cooperation between the European RSCs. The continuous collaboration of almost all European TSOs is essential, and the interests of the energy market and system security needs to be continuously balanced. In the long term, only the digitisation will be able to manage the increasing complexity of the grid. Neubauer points out the growing integration of OT (Operations technology) and IT (Information technology) layers and explicitly referred to the importance of artificial intelligence for congestions analysis and future network control and security.

Maik Neubauer presented RSC insights and future perspectives at the “Future Power Grids 2020” conference in Berlin (picture: Stefan Widua)

> Visit conference website (html)

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The power of data in Gothenburg


OSIsoft is a well-known manufacturer of application software for real-time data management, called PI System. On the second day of this year’s OSIsoft “PI World” user conference in mid-September in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second biggest city, the focus was on utilities and energy management in particular. One of the speakers on this day was Gábor Bús, Lead Data Visualisation & Analyses in our Service Operations business unit.

The topic of the Hungarian-born was “The Power of a Single Integrated Database”. He drew attention to the great responsibility of the 43 power transmission system operators (TSOs) in Europe. TSCNET Services enables them to bridge the huge differences in the characteristics and processing of their vast amounts of data. Several applications are hosted in different environments and work with different virtual identifiers that refer to the same physical network element, such as power lines or substations. Only the standardisation of the virtual identifiers and their storage in a single integrated data system makes it possible to use them effectively.

On the basis of predefined use cases, the experts at TSCNET have developed a total of 205 analysis templates, 13 notification templates, eight PI Vision displays and two ProcessBook displays to support and raise the efficiency of the operational activities. An early warning system for the Congestion Management service is also constantly being experimented with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Gábor’s presentation and a recording of the speech are available freely.

At this year’s OSIsoft “PI World” in Gothenburg, Gábor Bús held a presentation on “The Power of a Single Integrated Database”

> OSIsoft PI World, presentation page and video (html)

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ENTSO-E’s first regional conference in Vilnius


300 delegates participated in the “Baltic Power Conference” on 1 June in Vilnius, Lithuania. The first regional conference of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) was co-organised by the transmission system operators (TSOs) of Lithuania (Litgrid), Estonia (Elering) and Latvia (Augstsprieguma tīkls). Among the speakers – mainly high level representatives of TSOs, national authorities and ministries – was also Alexander Wirth, one of TSCNET’s Managing Directors.

The conference focused on possible connections of the Baltic power system to the other parts of Europe and on methods of regional integration. The ideal future vision of the Baltic electricity market resembles a bridge between eastern and western Europe. Moreover, ENTSO-E used the opportunity to present its concept of policy regions, imagined to bundle up political, regulatory, technical and commercial competences. Policy regions would be beneficial for efficient electricity markets. According to Konstantin Staschus, Secretary-General of ENTSO-E, the TSOs and ENTSO-E could “support the policy regions with technical analysis and advice”.

To further improve the role of the TSOs within this concept, Bente Hagem, Chair of the Board of ENTSO-E, considers more cooperation among TSOs themselves as essential. “Developing regional cooperation”, adds Peder Andreasen, President of ENTSO-E, will promote “security of supply, market and renewables integration”.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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Energy Community in Vienna


Today the 1st meeting of the Electricity Sub Group of the Security of Supply Coordination Group starts in Vienna, Austria, chaired by the European Commission. One of the speakers is Rudolf Baumann, the former Chairman of the TSC Steering Committee coming from Swissgrid. His presentation will cover TSCNET Services and discuss TSC as a Regional Security Coordination Initiative (RSCI).

> Open meeting agenda (pdf)

> See Energy Community portal (html)

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