SINCRO.GRID awarded as European key project


Within the frame of the “Connecting Europe Facility” programme, the EU invests €444m in key energy infrastructure. On 17 February 2017, the member states approved to the European Commission’s proposals on how to invest that large amount of money beneficially. Among the eighteen projects selected for funding is the smart grid project SINCRO.GRID destined to lead to a more efficient use of the electricity transmission grid in both Croatia and Slovenia. The EU supports SINCRO.GRID with €40m.

The two TSC members ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO), and HOPS from Croatia participate in SINCRO.GRID. Two distribution system operators from Croatia and Slovenia respectively supplement the consortium. Since Croatia and Slovenia are central to the European electricity transmission system, the respective national TSOs host significant east-west electricity transit flows. The increase in renewables in the south-east European region will further enhance such transit. Both TSOs acknowledge their responsibility in ensuring supra-regional system security and therefore are taking actions to contribute to the European targets for a not only a secure, but also a sustainable and efficient future energy system.

SINCRO.GRID involves innovative systemic approaches in order to solve short term operational security issues affecting Slovenia, Croatia and whole south-east Europe. Synergy effects enable ELES and HOPS to manage the additional renewable energy with the current infrastructure. The result is a secure energy supply without the need of building new overhead lines.

> See ELES press release (html)
> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)
> Visit SINCRO.GRID website (html)

Picture based on a SINCRO.GRID illustration


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ENTSO-E report on regional system coordination


On behalf of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), FTI-CL Energy, a subsidiary of FTI Consulting and Compass Lexecon, has performed a study on the possibilities of an enhanced regional coordination within the pan-European power system. Last week, ENTSO-E has presented the resulting comprehensive report “Options for the Future of Power System Regional Coordination”.

In times of a rapidly changing electricity market, the European TSOs are confronted with new challenges. The transformation of the electricity industry – characterised by decentralised and volatile generation, new storage solutions, smart grids, and active and complex consumers – complemented by the implementation of the Internal Energy Market (IEM) has a significant impact on the European power system and more specifically on the system operation. Naturally, this affects the TSOs the most, since they are responsible for the overall system security.

The European TSOs already have a long history of voluntary and fruitful cooperation. TSOs coordinate their specific operations by one of the new Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs), such as TSCNET Services. However, the ENTSO-E report reveals the necessity to intensify RSC efforts throughout Europe. A Europe-wide harmonisation of policies and regulation (corresponding with the ENTSO-E concept of Policy Regions) is among the prerequisites of a profound development of a coordinated system. While the coordination report does not provide revolutionary changes in the institutional and regulatory framework of the European power system, it suggests indispensable evolutions in terms of policies, regulations and market design nontheless.

> Open ENTSO-E report “Options for the Future of Power System Regional Coordination” (pdf, 7.0mb)


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Smart System for the future grid on film


TSC member TransnetBW, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), has published an explainer video in German on the company’s concept of a Smart System to ensure a stable grid and secure supply in view of the future electricity market and its new challenges. The TransnetBW Smart System is designed to effectively connect the grid with the players of tomorrow’s energy markets: TSOs, Distribution System Operators (DSOs), producers, consumers, and marketers.

On account of the energy transition in Germany and beyond, the European energy market is changing rapidly. The generation of electricity from renewable sources is decentralised, small-scale and volatile, while the consumption is becoming more and more complex due to e-mobility and storage solutions. The integration of complex consumers and volatile production is one of the main tasks of the TSOs for the future, since the TSOs are responsible for the overall system security and have to ensure that generation and consumption are always in equilibrium.

To realise this, the TSOs need more flexibility to compensate fluctuating feed-in, for instance by means of supra-regional cross-border trading using compensation potentials across Europe. Furthermore, a clear distribution of roles and tasks between the individual market players is becoming more and more indispensable. This is why a diligently conceived Smart System which is able to facilitate communication and information exchange among the market participants is not only helpful but necessary. As part of this, TransnetBW is cooperating in the development of a traffic light system to assess the physical limits of the transmission grid and trading options. It differentiates between three main scenarios: free market operation for the players (green), danger of bottlenecks or voltage problems (yellow), and serious threats to the system stability (red). In cases of “yellow”, the TSO enquires for flexibility within the SmartSystem, while in cases of “red” the TSO intervenes directly in generation and network load.

> See TransnetBW Smart Sytem video, in German (Youtube)

Picture: Screenshot taken from video “TransnetBW Smart Sytem” (TransnetBW, YouTube)


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Japanese-Slovenian smart grid cooperation consolidated


The Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi and TSC member ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO), have agreed on a Common Action for Smart Grids and Smart Communities. Their arrangement is based on an already existing partnership between ELES and NEDO, the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, to which Hitachi is associated. In December 2015, Hitachi representatives paid a first visit to the ELES head office, now the two companys have met again in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 25 November 2016 and deepened their partnership.

The project has a term of three years starting in November 2016. Advanced solutions demonstrated by Hitachi will be adapted by ELES to optimise the transmission system operation. In addition, ELES also engages in the development of advanced functionalities in terms of voltage optimisation or the restoration of faulty sections. The various Slovenian distribution system operators will also benefit from the project by means of cloud-based integrated distribution management systems utilising advanced Japanese technologies.

Two main outcomes of the joint intiative are desired by the participants: the implementation of advanced and eco-friendly solutions in view of a sustainable national power system on one hand, and an optimised coordination of the nationwide transmission system operation on the other hand. Both would ensure grid stability and reduce capital investment costs, thus allowing the expansion of renewable energy in Slovenia.

> See ELES press release (html)

Picture: ELES


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Japanese-Slovenian cooperation on Smart Grids


Visitors from Far East in Ljubljana, Slovenia: Within the context of a joint project on smart grids and smart communities, high-level representatives of Hitachi, a Japanese multinational conglomerate company and one of the world’s largest electronics corporations, were guests of TSC member ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO). They also visited the National Control Centre in Beričevo northeast the Slovenian capital.

> See ELES press release (html)

Picture: Eles, Ltd.

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