TransnetBW order for “bnBm” gas power plant

20.08.2019

TSCNET Services shareholder TransnetBW, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), has awarded Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) the contract for the provision of a “special network equipment” (“besonderes netztechnisches Betriebsmittel”, bnBm). EnBW will construct and operate a gas turbine power plant with a capacity of 300MW at Marbach. The city is the birthplace of the poet Friedrich Schiller and is located about 20 kilometres north of Stuttgart on the Neckar River.

The special network equipment will not be available to the market, but will be used from 1 October 2022 as a “safety buffer” exclusively at the request of TransnetBW to ensure safety and reliability in the transmission grid. It thus serves as a further reserve for the safety and reliability of the electricity supply system.

“Behind us lies a demanding tendering procedure, because we had to procure a completely new product,” says Dr. Rainer Pflaum, Managing Director of TransnetBW. It was about access to a capacity that “helps to stabilise the power grid flexibly and reliably”. The new plant would be an important component for supply security in the region.

Together with the TSOs Amprion and TenneT, TransnetBW issued a call for tenders for the special grid technology equipment with a total volume of 1,200MW open to technology and Europe-wide at the end of June 2018. Altogether, the tenders cover four regions in southern Germany, each with a capacity of 300MW.

TransnetBW placed an order for the provision of a gas turbine power plant with a capacity of 300MW (picture: EnBW)

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> Open TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

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TSO conditions for reserve capacity approved

05.08.2019

The four German transmission system operators (TSOs), the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, TransnetBW and Tennet, the Dutch-German TSO, ensure the supply of electricity under all circumstances and thus hold reserve capacities as ultima ratio for unforeseeable and exceptional extreme situations on the electricity market. The reserve capacity is calculated at 2GW and the facilities to provide the capacity are determined every two years by the TSOs through a tendering procedure.

Last week, the Bundesnetzagentur (German Federal Network Agency) approved the new standard conditions for the reserve capacity which had been drafted by the TSOs. The standard conditions are the basis of the contractual relationship between the respective TSO and the operator providing the capacity. They are designed to be as transparent as possible and include, among other things, rules on the availability and use of the reserve system, remuneration or contractual penalties.

Due to the standard conditions, the potential participants in the tender procedure know the terms under which the reserve facilities must be operated and the legal consequences in case of failure of a plant. Now that the conditions have been approved, the tender for the first performance period can start as planned on 1 September 2019.

The German Federal Network Agency approved the TSO standard conditions for reserve capacity (picture: Bundesnetzagentur)

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> See press release by the Bundesnetzagentur, in German (html)

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DA/RE project: first retrievals of redispatch capacities

11.07.2019

The Baden-Württemberg grid security initiative “DA/RE” (“DAta exchange/REdispatch”) addresses the increasing volatility and decentralisation of power generation. The aim is to stabilise the entire electricity system by utilising the flexibility potential of decentralised generation units from lower grid levels. Originally launched in the summer of 2018 by TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, the German transmission system operator (TSO) from the state of Baden-Württemberg, and the southwest German distribution system operator (DSO) Netze BW, the project consortium was later expanded so that a total of three DSOs and four other partners from the areas of virtual power plants, home storage and energy trading were involved in the first DA/RE pilot phase from April to June 2019.

During this phase, the participants have defined and developed the method of data exchange and coordination. Following this successful implementation process, the first retrievals from pilot plants in the distribution network for redispatch purposes have now been initiated. Capacities were retrieved from battery home storage facilities, several biogas plants, a waste incineration plant and a cogeneration plant. The tests therefore involved both medium-voltage and low-voltage systems and the project partners have demonstrated that it is possible and important to make use of all flexibilities at all voltage levels for grid stabilisation.

“The retrievals from systems in the distribution network constitute a significant milestone for us, as they show that the concept is feasible and we are now able to gain initial experience in terms of practical suitability,” explains DA/RE project manager Florian Gutekunst from TransnetBW. The second stage of the pilot phase has thus begun. Further retrievals are now being carried out and various application cases are being tested. In concrete terms, the issue is how grid operators can trigger the retrieval of redispatch measures in a coordinated manner and how the information chain should be designed in order to guarantee all parties involved at all voltage levels complete transparency about the retrieval and the capacity provided. In the following third step, the retrievals are to be automated and the corresponding data paths implemented.

First retrievals of redispatch capacities have been carried out in the pilot phase of the DA/RE project (picture showing a scene from electricity trading: Next Kraftwerke)

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> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

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New FCR market design

04.07.2019

The collaboration of central European transmission system operators (TSOs) in the procurement and exchange of Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR) is the first regional cooperation in Europe to implement market harmonisation in compliance with the EU Guideline on Electricity Balancing (EBGL). The TSOs that make up the FCR consortium are: the Austrian, German and Swiss TSCNET shareholders APG, 50Hertz, Amprion, TransnetBW, and Swissgrid, the Dutch-German shareholder TenneT as well as the Belgian TSO Elia and the French TSO RTE, which are supplemented by further TSCNET shareholder Energinet from Denmark as non-active member.

The FCR cooperation was founded in the summer of 2016 and has conducted two consultation rounds in the last two years, resulting in a final proposal, which was approved by all national regulators involved. The first milestone in the advancement of the largest FCR market in Europe has now been reached in the implementation of a new FCR market design. In addition to shortening the product length from a week to a day, the cooperation introduces a marginal pricing system. The aim is to reduce procurement costs and create incentives for new balancing power providers and technologies to enter the market.

The FCR cooperation introduces a new market design

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> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

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New ENTSO-E leadership team elected

28.06.2019

The Assembly of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has elected a new leadership team for the next two years, taking office today. The new President is Hervé Laffaye, Deputy CEO of RTE (Réseau de Transport d’Electricité), the French transmission system operator (TSO). Vice President is Zbyněk Boldiš, member of the Board of Directors of our shareholder and customer ČEPS, the Czech TSO. The Board is chaired by Joachim Vanzetta, Director of System Control at Amprion, one of the four German TSOs. Of our shareholders and customers, also Tahir Kapetanovic (APG), SØren Dupont Kristensen (Energinet), Konrad Purchała and Robert Paprocki (both PSE), Frank-Peter Hansen (TenneT), Michael Jesberger (TransnetBW), and Yves Zumwald (Swissgrid) belong to the ENTSO-E team.

“ENTSO-E’s agenda comprises several strategic targets to support the TSO community in preparing the power system of 2020, 2030 and beyond, in ensuring transparent implementation of existing and new legislation while keeping an excellent level of system security,” explains Joachim Vanzetta. The background is shaped by the implementation of the Clean Energy Package and the design of the future European electricity market design. Particular attention will be paid to the issue of system security in times of energy system transformation and European climate targets.

The ENTSO-E Assembly has elected a new leadership team – on the left the new ENTSO-E President Hervé Laffaye (RTE), on the right Chair of the Board Joachim Vanzetta (Amprion)

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> Open ENTSO-E press release (html)

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Connect+ for data exchange

14.06.2019

The four German transmission system operators (TSOs), the TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW, together with 16 distribution system operators (DSOs) have launched the “Connect+” project to jointly implement the legal requirements of the German Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (Netzausbaubeschleunigungsgesetz – NABEG). The project is a reaction to the increased need for coordination due to the current legislative amendments and intended to facilitate a more transparent exchange of data between grid operators and market participants.

German legislation has specified that, in future, all facilities for the generation or storage of electrical energy with a nominal capacity of 100kW or more must be utilised to prevent foreseeable bottlenecks in the grid. The modified conditions for redispatch apply from 1 October 2021. As the present feed-in management of the grid operators only reacts to acute congestions, an even more intensive cooperation between TSOs and DSOs is required in the future.

The new processes to be developed and introduced within the time frame pose a challenge for all grid operators. In the “Connect+” project, TSOs and DSOs want to develop uniform solutions for data distribution to harmonise data exchange between market participants and operators for congestion management. In a first step, essential specifications such as interfaces and formats are developed and defined.

The four German TSOs and 16 DSOs launch the data exchange project “Connect+” for congestion management

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> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
> See TenneT press release, in German (html)
> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

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Core CCR project meeting hosted by HOPS

20.05.2019

Sixteen transmission system operators (TSOs) from the heart of Europe are participating in the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR) project in order to implement a decision taken by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) in November 2016 to merge the existing regional initiatives of Central Eastern and Central Western Europe into the European core region. These TSOs – including the twelve TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, ČEPS, ELES, HOPS, MAVIR, PSE, SEPS, TenneT, Transelectrica, and TransnetBW – are strongly committed to implementing all CCR-related obligations in accordance with the respective network codes and guidelines of the European Commission.

Last week, the Croatian TSO HOPS organised a two-day project team meeting with representatives of all 16 Core CCR TSOs to calculate long-term cross-border transmission capacities compliant with the specifications on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM). As one of the two Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) for Core CCR TSOs, TSCNET Services was also part of the meeting. The concrete objective of the meeting in the Croatian capital of Zagreb was to prepare a proposal for an appropriate calculation methodology. This proposal will be open for public consultation from 10 June 2019. During the meeting participants also visited the HOPS control centre.

HOPS hosted a Core CCR project meeting in Zagreb (picture: HOPS)

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> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)

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Ultranet progresses

17.05.2019

The Ultranet substation on the grounds of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant (which will be completely shut down by 31 December 2019) in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg is to become one of the most significant power hubs in Germany’s future energy landscape. Here, the supra-regional DC line Ultranet will be connected to the regional 380kV grid of TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). Ultranet will transfer wind energy generated in the northwest of the country to the industrially highly developed southwest. The European Project of Common Interest (PCI) is jointly carried out by TransnetBW and further TSCNET shareholder Amprion.

Last July, construction work began in Philippsburg with the groundbreaking ceremony for a new gas-insulated switchgear. Now the work on the new DC substation is being initiated, as TransnetBW officially started the filling of the construction site with a symbolic first excavator operation on 16 May. “This is a special day for the ULTRANET DC project and for the energy transition,” declared Dr. Werner Götz, Chairman of the TransnetBW Executive Board, to around 50 invited representatives from politics, business and society. Dr. Götz continued that now a “visible sign for the progress of the project and our aim to bring renewable electricity to Philippsburg and the region” had been set.

In the meantime, the project partner Amprion has also made progress for Ultranet, albeit in a different domain: In keeping with the motto that it is better to talk to each other than about each other, the TSO on 15 and 16 May has invited municipalities, specialist authorities and citizens’ initiatives to exchange information on the Ultranet planning status in the Rheingau-Taunus and Main-Taunus districts. A first public participation procedure had earlier led to 15 alternative routes in the respective districts, which Amprion examined in more detail. Based on the additional expert exchange, Amprion wants to better integrate the local knowledge and expertise of the participants for the comparison of variants and their environmental impacts.

TransnetBW has started preparing the construction site for the Ultranet substation in Philippsburg (picture: TransnetBW)

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> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)
> See Amprion press release, in German (html)

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Retrospect on Innogrid2020+

15.05.2019

This year’s Innogrid2020+ took place in Brussels on 13 and 14 May. Jointly organised by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and the European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids (EDSO), the motto of the prestigious annual event for 2019 was “Connecting Physics and Digits: Power Platforms on the Rise”. So, it was about physical networks and their permeation with information and communication technologies, transforming the energy system into a cyberphysical system. Among the presented projects during Innogrid2020+ were several, in which TSCNET shareholders participate: “Crossbow” with Croatian transmission system operator (TSO) HOPS, “DA/RE” by German TSO TransnetBW, “FutureFlow” (ELES from Slovenia, APG from Austria, MAVIR from Hungary, and Transelectrica from Romania), “MIGRATE” (Amprion from Germany, ELES, and Dutch-German TSO TenneT), and SINCRO.GRID (ELES and HOPS). Besides, Yves Zumwald, CEO of Swissgrid, took part as speaker in the “CEO business track panel on innovation”.

In addition to informative sessions on disruptive technologies, innovation policy or targets for 2030, the event hosts also presented the 2nd European Power Network Awards during Innogrid2020+. The first winner is the Signposting Information project by the British Distribution System Operator (DSO) WPG, which aims to open new neutral markets around flexibility. The second winner is the digital platform “cyberNOC” by CyberGRID, a specialist in the development of virtual power plant solutions. cyberNOC stands for the seamless and secure integration of battery energy storage systems and electric vehicles with aggregators, electricity markets, and grid operators.

On the second day of Innogrid2020+, ENTSO-E and EDSO used the public interest in the event to present six recommendations on energy network innovation to the European Commission in the forefront of the Copenhagen Energy Infrastructure Forum on 23 and 24 May. These recommendations include the promotion of TSO-DSO cooperation, adequate support for research, development and innovation, of sectoral coupling and digitisation, or the linking of EU funding programmes.

This year’s Innogrid2020+ focused on the digitisation of power networks (picture of presentation by Yves Zumwald, CEO of Swissgrid: EDSO)

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Line upgrade in the German Upper Rhine Plain

11.05.2019

The transmission capacity of the extra-high voltage grid in the southwest of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, is reaching its limits considering the requirements for an efficient and future-proof energy system. To increase capacity and ensure regional security of supply as well as reliable transmission in the future, Baden-Württemberg’s transmission system operator (TSO), TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, is replacing the 220kV overhead line between Karlsruhe-Daxlanden and Eichstetten am Kaiserstuhl (near Freiburg) with a 380kV line. This line upgrade in the Upper Rhine Plain is part of the National Network Development Plan for Electricity and comprises the construction of around 120km of new lines and five substations.

The entire project is divided into four sections and the planning approval procedure for the section B1 between Sasbach and Offenburg-Weier in the Ortenau district was opened on 9 May. TransnetBW had submitted the relevant documents at the end of last year to the Freiburg Regional Council. After official review and a revision by the TSO, the authority initiated the approval procedure. Next steps include the consultation process with a month-long disclosure of the documents to the municipalities concerned and the involvement of public interest parties.

Start of planning approval for the Sasbach-Offenburg section of TransnetBW’s Daxlanden-Eichstetten line upgrade (picture: TransnetBW)

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> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

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