ACER consultation on Core Capacity Calculation methodology


Complex issues require precise phrasing. Therefore the new public consultation of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) is called: “Public Consultation on the amendments of the proposal for common capacity calculation methodology for the Core region”. The consultation has opened on 4 December and will be accessible until midnight on Christmas Eve. Invited to participate are all interested stakeholders, including regulatory authorities, nominated electricity market operators (NEMOs) and transmission system operators (TSOs).

What exactly is the objective of the survey? The Capacity Calculation Methodology (CCM) quantifies the electrical capacity that can be offered across borders to the day-ahead and intraday markets. The Core CCM is valid within the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR), which comprises Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The TSOs from the Core CCR – among them are the twelve TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, ČEPS, ELES, HOPS, MAVIR, PSE, SEPS, TenneT, Transelectrica and TransnetBW – have conceived and proposed amendments to the Core CCM.

The competent regulatory authorities of the Core CCR have not yet approved the TSO proposal and asked ACER to decide on whether the modified Core CCM complies with the European Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM) Regulation. Interested parties are invited to provide feedback on the consultation questions concerning the relevant aspects of the Core CCM.

ACER launches public consultation on the compliance of the Core CCM proposed by the Core TSOs with the European CACM Regulation

> See ACER press release (html)
> Direct access to consultation (html)

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Acer decision on fallback procedures for Core CCR


In March 2018, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) was asked by the competent regulatory authorities to decide on the amended proposal of the transmission system operators (TSOs) from the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR) regarding the Core CCR fallback procedures. In the following August, ACER invited all interested stakeholders to share their views on the issue in a public consultation. After evaluating the survey, ACER has now published its decision on revisions to the methodology for fallback procedures.

The Core CCR consists of sixteen Central European TSOs, twelve of which are TSCNET shareholders: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), ELES (Slovenia), HOPS (Croatia), MAVIR (Hungary), PSE (Poland), SEPS (Slovakia), Transelectrica (Romania), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW. ACER’s decision introduces minimal changes to fallback procedures in order to improve legal clarity and enforceability. Most importantly, instead of five different shadow allocation rules, only a single set of rules is adopted by the Agency, which specifies in its decision to which bidding zone borders these rules apply.

ACER has published its decision on the improvement of the fallback procedures proposed by the TSOs of the Core CCR

> See ACER press release (html, with access to decision and consultation results)

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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

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

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ACER consultation on fallback procedures


The relevant regulatory authorities have asked the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) to review the fallback procedures in the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR) with regard to the European Regulation on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM). The Core CCR consists of sixteen central European transmission system operators (TSOs), eleven of which are TSCNET shareholders: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), ELES (Slovenia), HOPS (Croatia), MAVIR (Hungary), PSE (Poland), SEPS (Slovakia), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany, 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW.

The Core TSOs prepared an amended proposal for the CCR fallback procedures. ACER now has been given the task of verifying that this proposal complies with the respective guideline on CACM Regulation of the European Union. Since ACER has to adopt a profound decision on this matter, the Agency takes interest in the comments from different parties on some elements of the amended proposal in order to substantiate this decision. The related public consultation is open til 24 August and all interested stakeholders, including regulatory authorities, nominated electricity market operators and TSOs, are invited to submit their comments.

ACER opens public consultation on the compliance of the fallback procedures proposed by the TSOs of the Core CCR with the CACM Regulation.

> See ACER press release (html, with access to consultation document)

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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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First edition of the Bidding Zone Review


With the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) as facilitator, fifteen European transmission system operators (TSOs) have published a first edition of the Bidding Zone Review in line with the European Commission guideline on capacity allocation and congestion management. Among these TSOs are the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, ČEPS, ELES, Energinet, MAVIR, PSE, TenneT, and TransnetBW as well as the TSCNET customers Creos and SEPS.

The release follows a public consultation of the review, which lasted until 9 March. The involved TSOs have carefully considered stakeholder feedback and have now made their recommendation to the respective national government and regulatory authorities. The competent authorities have to reach an agreement by 30 September on whether to accept the bidding zone configuration or to request modifications.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html, with access to report on the review)
> See PSE press release (html, added on 10 April)

Picture: Illustration based on final ENTSO-E report

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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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EU proposal on capacity calculation criticised


With the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, the European Commision pursues the goal of providing a stable legislative framework for a sustainable European energy future as well as a reliable bundle of regulations for the market players. In December 2017, the Council of the European Union adopted the General Approach on package-related pieces of legislation, including article 14 of the Regulation on the internal market for electricity, which comprises capacity calculation provisions. On 2 February, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has issued a critical statement on the Council proposal.

ENTSO-E fears that Article 14, if implemented, will put the well-functioning of the internal market and the secure operation of the power system at risk. In particular, ENTSO-E criticises the target value for cross-zonal trade that obliges transmission system operators (TSOs) to offer at least 75% of capacities on interconnectors. To achieve this target, the TSOs might have to perform significantly more redispatch measures. Instead of the Council’s approach, ENTSO-E considers regionally differentiated minimum capacity targets more appropriate. In addition, the targets should be based on economic and physical analysis and must allow TSOs to occasionally deviate in favour of system security. On the basis of careful considerations, ENTSO-E calls on policy-makers to rethink the provisions to the benefit of the European electricity market and the consumers.

TSCNET shareholder PSE, the Polish TSO, has released a similar statement already on 18 January. PSE also criticises the capacity calculation provisions of Article 14 and is apprehensive of a further separation of market and system operation as a possible result of the calculation rules. PSE has thoroughly analysed the complex matter and suggests, that the TSOs themselves should define capacity calculation details through research and design activities, supervised by the national regulatory authorities and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).


Picture: Jennifer Jacquemart / EC-Audiovisual Service

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> See PSE press release, issued 18 January (html)

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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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