Dr Rainer Pflaum confirmed


Distinct signals of management continuity are being sent out by TSC member TransnetBW, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs): The company’s Supervisory Board has reappointed Dr Rainer Pflaum as CFO of TransnetBW.

Mr Pflaum belonged to the board of directors at TransnetBW’s predecessor company EnBW Transportnetze AG since 2010. Subsequently – after the renaming of the company in 2012 – he has been a member of the TransnetBW Executive Board. Rainer Pflaum also plays an important role at TSCNET Services, as he holds the chair position of our Supervisory Board since February 2016.

> See TransnetBW press release (html)

Picture: TransnetBW


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ENTSO-E paying a visit


All the TSC member companies and all of TSCNET Services’ clients are members of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, ENTSO-E. It’s not surprising that ENTSO-E is one of our most important cooperation partners. Last week, two ENTSO-E representatives made a visit at our premises in Munich to discuss current and future projects: Laurent Schmitt, Secretary-General, and Sonya Twohig, Manager System Operations.

The guests from Brussels, Belgium, were welcomed by Siem Bruijns, TSCNET’s Managing Director, and three other members of our Management Team. An introduction to TSC and TSCNET Services was followed by a guided tour including demonstrations of some of our key services and tasks by our experts: An IntraDay Operational Planning Teleconference (IDOPT), several Data Analysis and Visualisation Tools, and discussions on Multilateral Remedial Actions (MRAs).

The ENTSO-E visit provided a great opportunity to discuss the roles, responsibilities, and challenges of Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) in general and to share the visions on the near future. This will also be the focus of the industry’s next big thing, the Conference on Electricity Security Coordination on the 17th of October in Munich – organised by TSCNET Services and ENTSO-E together.

> See ElSeC 2017 web page (html)
> See ENTSO-E website (html)


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Conference on EU Network Codes in May


Last week, the EU member states have approved the Balancing Guideline, the last of eight Network Codes. These Codes are regulations in order to facilitate the integration and coordination of European energy markets and systems. The Balancing Guideline, for instance, defines rules for competitive cross-border trading and balancing. With all network codes being approved, Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), has reason to be satisfied with the achievements so far, but he also points to the ambitious task of implementing “these innovative regulations ‘made-in-Europe'” that “pave the way to the active customer & renewables’ era”.

ENTSO-E organises in close cooperation with the European Commsion, the European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSO-G) a conference and reception on the Network Codes in Brussels, Belgium. The reception will take place in the evening of 3 May and will be attended by Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy. The conference on the following day will provide an opportunity to celebrate the present achievements, discuss all questions related to Network Codes, and to consider the challenges of implementation. The thirteen TSC member transmission system operators (TSOs) are also member companies of ENTSO-E.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

> See ENTSO-E event announcement (html)

Picture: European Union, EC-Audiovisual Service (Photo: Alain Schroeder)


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Customer satisfaction – a never-ending race


As part of ongoing efforts to improve our tools and services, TSCNET Services had released a web-based customer satisfaction survey on 10 May 2016 to help us understand whether we are still “getting it right”. The survey was live for a period of 40 days. After the survey was closed, we have collected the results and analysed them in depth. The most important ones:

  • Less than 10% of our customers think or feel “negative” about our company in general (not even one “very negative”)
  • A majority of our customers is satisfied with the services and tools provided by us.

The easy-to-use survey consisted of 20 questions ranging from customer attitudes towards our tools and services to demographic questions. An invitation mail and multiple reminder mails were sent to users and members of working groups to take part in the survey and provide their valuable feedback.

In the end, the survey was filled out by total 93 participants (38 completely, 55 partially). Overall, the feedback received was good and positive comments were received for the services and various other aspects. The customer quote that we all feel most proud of: TSCNET people “are very helpful if you need some advice”.

Performance improvement
However, as the purpose of this survey was to also determine the improvement points for further development and customer satisfaction, the next steps will now be to focus on the areas where our customers felt we could improve. Among other actions to be implemented, we will provide more information about procedures and people, and establish more (and better) alignment with customers and working groups.

We at TSCNET always have our focus on customer satisfaction and do our upmost to provide our clients with the best service and products possible – the survey plays an integral role in our drive for continuous improvement. A big thank-you goes out to each one of our customers who took the time to complete the survey. Certainly we will take all feedback and concerns seriously.

If you have additional questions regarding this survey, please contact our survey team via e-mail at “communications@tscnet.eu”.

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International forum in a magnificent mountain scenery


“It was a great opportunity to meet and connect with TSO colleagues and to get quick insight into TSCNET’s services and projects,” resumed one of the 44 participants in the TSCNET Forum held on June, 28 and 29 in the beautiful village of Fall near Lenggries in the Bavarian Alps, Germany. Next to several spice-up and team building activities, there were comprehensive information sessions, passionate discussions, and training modules.

On the first day, Siem Bruijns, one of the Managing Directors of TSCNET Services gave an update on TSC and TSCNET. A so-called world café, also known as knowledge café offered three different workshops (“Rulebook and operation”, “MRA and redispatch potential exchange”, and “Change request procedure and AMICA”). The results were then presented and discussed. In the evening, an offbeat edutainment game quiz with 20 questions allowed the group to verify knowledge that is essential for their working in a both engaging and unstressful way. It meant fun with a purpose.

The second day started with a breezy and playful warm-up for the early risers. The “TSC/TSCNET exhibition” in the form of an informal poster session including demonstrations and mini workshops allowed to present ten different topics and projects (“Data Quality Management”, “TSC reporting and customer communication”, “Changes in MRA procedure”, “Outage Planning Coordination”, “Capacity Calculation”, “Coordinated Security Assessment”, “Short- and Medium-Term Adequacy Forecast”, “CGMES”, “Unicorn live demonstration”, and “TSCNET office extension”) to interested viewers and to receive feedback from them.

At the “Forum Boot Camp”, three qualified instructors led through a series of vigorous outdoor exercises in a lovely forest area next to the hotel. The different group challenges nurtured team spirit and trained problem-solving and creativity skills.

It was great to see TSCNET’s users and clients having an enjoyable time learning and sharing insights and experiences. The participants were keen to get involved and took full advantage of this occasion to make new connections, to share knowledge, and to exchange views.

TSCNET Forum June 2016 impressions


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System Operation Guideline strengthens renewables


As the role of electricity from renewable sources within the European energy market becomes increasingly prominent, the European member states have taken an important step towards grid stability. On 4 May 2016, they agreed on a draft commission regulation offering harmonized rules for the European transmission system operators (TSOs). Main focus of this System Operation Guideline is to ensure the security of supply in the renewables’ age. It also lays down the framework to establishing Regional Service Coordinators (RSCs), such as the TSO Security Cooperation (TSC).

Bente Hagem, Chair of the Board of the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), appreciates the provisional guideline with its 149 pages as “state-of-the-art operational rules supporting more market integration and more renewable energy”.  The System Operation Guideline is the sixth and most extensive network code put forward by ENTSO-E. Konstantin Staschus, Secretary-General of  ENTSO-E, evaluates the guideline – if turned into a binding regulation – as valuable foundation for European TSOs to “apply best practice from all over Europe”. Peder Andreasen, President of ENTSO-E, emphasizes on the importance of regional cooperation and especially RSCs in terms of “a cleaner, more reliable and cost-efficient grid”.

In addition, there is also an interview with Tahir Kapetanovic from TSC member APG, the Austrian transmission system operator, about TSOs’ regional cooperation in general (see picture/screenshot).

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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Alexander Wirth leaves TSCNET Services


Alexander Wirth, one of the two Managing Directors of Munich-based TSCNET Services GmbH, will leave the company and Swissgrid, the Swiss transmission system operator (TSO), at the end of July 2016. During the last three and a half years, he was responsible for the foundation and the establishment of TSCNET Services jointly owned by 13 TSOs from ten European countries, among them Swissgrid. In parallel to building up TSCNET, Wirth also led the reorganisation of TSC, its operating procedures, and its decision-making processes.

> Open TSCNET press release (pdf, 189kb)

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New board chairman at TSCNET Services


Dr. Rainer Pflaum, member of the Executive Board of TSC member TransnetBW GmbH, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), is the new Chairman of TSCNET Services’ Supervisory Board, effective immediately. Mr Pflaum, previously Deputy Chairman, was named by the Supervisory Board and succeeds Mel Kroon, CEO of the Dutch-German TSO TenneT. The company’s Supervisory Board represents the shareholders and both supervises and advises the company’s management.

“As renewable energies add a larger and larger proportion of energy to the grid, TSCNET supports TSOs in Europe by rendering impactful services and encouraging a trans-national perspective in order to maintain and even improve the high standards of system security,” Mr Pflaum said. “For this purpose TSCNET combines  the expertise of all the companies cooperating. I look forward to promoting the consistent further development of TSCNET’s processes and services, and to contribute my share to further strengthening security of supply in Europe.”

Picture: TransnetBW GmbH

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Video from a supplier’s perspective


Unicorn Systems is one of the most important partners of TSC and TSCNET Services. The renowned Czech, Prague-based company has developed and maintains our highly sophisticated, decentralised collaboration platform, called common tool for data exchange and security assessments (CTDS). In 2010, the system was put in operation for the first time and is constantly being both optimised and extended. It is absolutely essential for the transmission system operators (TSOs) to answer to the growing operational needs of the European power grid. Now Unicorn produced an inspiring video about TSCNET and the cooperation with Unicorn, mainly to inform potential job candidates.

The video contains an interview with Alexander Wirth, one of TSCNET’s Managing Directors, and gives people a glimpse into a normal working day at our office in Munich. It is one of ten videos to convince new talents and can be watched for free.

> See Unicorn Systems video on YouTube (html)

> See Unicorn Systems website (html)

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TSC and TSCNET Services launch strategy


The Cooperation Board of the Transmission System Operator Security Cooperation (TSC) approved the strategy for TSC and the joint service company of the TSC members, TSCNET Services GmbH, for the 2016-2020 period. Through TSCNET, TSC aims at facilitating the cooperation of its TSO partners and other regional security coordination initiatives (RSCIs) by providing high quality services in order to enhance power system security in continental Europe. For this purpose, TSCNET cooperates closely with existing RSCIs and supports the establishment of new RSCIs. The major elements of TSCNET’s strategy follow three priorities:

(1) Best-in-class services for Europe’s capacity management process

(2) Seamless cooperation with other RSCIs (e.g. Coreso, based in Brussels) all over Europe

(3) Elevation of organisational performance in accordance with ENTSO-E policies

Under the updated strategy, TSCNET Services plans to become a consolidated, centralised pre- and post-coupling platform offering integrated forecasting services with security assessment and capacity calculation. Non-member TSOs can procure TSCNET’s services against payment of a fee. In principle, TSOs stay solely responsible for any grid measure.

TSC aspires the highest level of system security based on enhanced regional coordination. Especially regarding capacity calculations and security assessment, TSCNET maintains a close, wide-ranging cooperation with Coreso, SSC, and other RSCIs.

The new strategy results from a multi-level origination process involving all TSC TSOs and TSCNET Services, and lasting several months. An implementation roadmap describes the steps necessary to realise the ambitious strategic targets.

> See press release as pdf file (217kb)

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