A man on a mission – welcome, Chidera!


“Where there is data smoke, there is also a business fire,” noted Thomas Redman, internationally renowned as the “Data Doc”. We at TSCNET take his words to heart and strive to provide secure data of excellent quality to ensure that our business processes run smoothly and there is no smoke. To achieve this, we rely on a team of knowledgeable and well-trained experts. Now we have been able to expand this team a little: We are pleased to welcome Chidera Abonyi as a new Data Quality working student in the Service Operations business unit. He shares our understanding of the immense importance of high-quality data and adds a new chapter to his inspiring journey through the world of data and energy.

Chidera already holds a M.Sc. in Energy Engineering from the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Science (PAUWES) at the University of Tlemcen in Algeria and is currently completing his second postgraduate course in Power Engineering at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). In addition to his academic knowledge of energy-related topics, the 28-year-old Nigerian has already gained valuable practical experience across the globe.

Chidera worked with the Photovoltaic Research Laboratory (PVRL) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on solar cell design, completed a research internship at the TUM on short-term electricity forecasting and also supported the German Agency for International Cooperation in the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP). In addition, Chidera, whose main motivation in the energy world stems from his vision of a sustainable future, also has extensive experience in volunteer work throughout Africa.

The joy of supporting others
Most recently, Chidera worked with the Tanzania Development Trust, where he worked with volunteers in the East African country to create better maps for the country’s citizens. Since July 2018, he has also been volunteering for the Switch Energy Alliance (SEA) as an assistant to the African Outreach Campaign. Prior to that, he worked as a research assistant for Power for All in his home country Nigeria, where he collected and analysed data, focusing on Nigeria’s renewable energy sector. “Working as a volunteer gives me the opportunity to connect with various communities and to turn my passions into real and immediate positive impact at grassroots level,” he explains.

At TSCNET, Chidera’s work focuses on one platform project in the field of visualisation and another on the optimisation of grid data and its analysis. In his spare time, he enjoys going on long-distance runs in nature, listening to great music and exploring the world. Munich offers great opportunities in this respect. We are delighted to have a knowledgeable and committed young colleague with a great deal of heart, and we look forward to having him at our side in our work for a more sustainable future.

TSCNET Services welcomes Chidera Abonyi, the new working student in our BU Service Operations 

> Open Chidera’s LinkedIn profile (html)

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Old environment with new horizons – change of job within TSCNET


No matter how interesting and exciting a job is, sooner or later every employee may feel the lure of a change in profession or may just fancy a new challenge. That may mean leaving the old workplace behind in search of a new, professional “promised land”, while also learning new skills along the way. It’s an opportunity for a qualified and experienced employee – but a great loss to the company. On this view, TSCNET Services offers and promotes a different solution: Change your job without changing your employer.

This is what Tin Bobetko did: In 2015, he had started as an Operator within TSCNET’s Operations team, coming from TSC member HOPS, the Croatian transmission system operator (TSO). As of now, he works as Business Implementation Manager in the Business Development team. With his eight years experience in Power System Engineering, he is responsible for the development and implementation of new tools, processes, products, and technologies to boost the services TSCNET provides to its customers. “Throughout my working career, I’ve always been enthusiastic about projects that required a lot of teamwork and offered the possibility to acquire new competencies and to evolve in various areas,” Tin says. This attitude is highly valued by the head of his new team, Mario Princip: “Tin joins us at an enthralling and challenging time, and both his vast experience and his urge for knowledge will help get a strong tailwind in our sails.” For a ship on its course to new destinations, that sounds like a most promising start.


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Californian delegation visits TSCNET


The California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy (CFEE) is geared to “bring together leadership from the business, labor, community and environmental sectors with elected and appointed officials” in California, USA. Within the scope of CFEE’s “Germany & Czech Republic Study Travel Project”, a delegation consisting of four California State Senators, five members of the California State Assembly, 15 CFEE Board members, and three CFEE representatives, visited TSCNET Services in Munich, Germany. The group was led by Patrick Mason, CFEE President and CEO. The delegation was eager to see how European electricity stakeholders cope with the challenge of “Energiewende” to learn for the renewable challenge in California.

Next to Siem Bruijns, TSCNET’s Managing Director, and Alexander Küster, Head of Operations at TSCNET, the high-level delegation was received by Gerhard Christiner, the Chairman of the TSC Cooperation Board, and Joachim Vanzetta, the Chairman of the TSC Operational Board. Four presentations on different topices were held, followed by an animated discussion.

“Whenever you take one part of a system and enhance it over any other part, you will create unintended consequences – the issues are solvable, but policy makers should have a greater understanding of the consequences of their policies,” said Bob Foster, former President of Southern California Edison, one of the largest electric utilities in the USA, former Chairman of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), and one of the leading policy developers in the energy space. “Distributed resources, generation, storage, or micro-grids, all make the task of grid management more difficult,” he added. “The grid now requires much more management and care, which is and can be achieved, but it is fair to say that reliability is more tenuous.“

> See CFEE website (html)


CFEE visit

Pictures: CFEE / TSCNET Services


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Volunteers by nature


In the maze of professional responsibilities and challenges it is easy to forget about the other areas where our energy can be used for the public good. TSCNET Services’ corporate volunteering initiative wants to buck this tendency. At the beginning of November, some of our employees supported the local group of the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland) again. The idea behind this activity is simple: To go out and dedicate a bit of your time to the nature and environment.

This time it meant strengthening the habitats of crested newts (in German: Kammmolche, measuring 13 to 15cm, protected by European law) – one of the many rare and endangered species inhabiting the beautiful woodlands in the west of Munich (“Aubinger Lohe”), surrounded by fields and meadows. Equipped with working tools and protective gloves, TSCNET volunteers helped to remove the weeds and clear out the area to support the natural balance on the site.

Keeping in mind the idea, that what you give always comes back, we have agreed once more that offering help and support to others is the best gift we can make to ourselves. For the TSCNET Services team it was a great opportunity to spend some valuable time with colleagues and practice team-work in an unusual setting. A great experience that will benefit in our working environment!




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MRA tool introduced


TSCNET Services has developed an easy-to-handle tool to facilitate the cost-sharing process of so-called Multilateral Remedial Actions (MRAs). The first version of the subtle MRA tool (MRAT) has been launched successfully, with Martin Mach in charge, one of the Data Quality Managers at Team Operations. The second phase of the MRAT project has already been kicked off and will bring more enhancements of the tool.

As more and more energy from renewable sources has to be transmitted, Europe’s transmission system operators (TSOs) often have a hard time ensure the overall system security and managing congestions. Sometimes it is necessary to take so-called Multilateral Remedial Actions (MRAs) with more than two TSOs involved. These complex MRAs are indispensable to resolve security violations, but they often entail high costs. A special scheme based on a rather complicated mathematical algorithm is used to distribute the share of costs following the single tie-line decomposition (STD) mechanism.


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Slovakian neighbourhood connected


One of the biggest benefits for TSCNET’s customers is this: Getting to know what is going on in the neighbouring national transmission grid. The more and the more precise the better. The Slovakian transmission system operator (TSO) SEPS is connected to the neighbouring TSC members ČEPS (Czechia), MAVIR (Hungary), and PSE (Poland), but did not take part in TSCNET’s most important operational forecast processes. Now this has changed. SEPS has “become operational”, as our experts put it: The TSO has been successfully connected to the AMICA system (Advanced Multisite Integral Congestion Assessment) and is now able to participate in most of the processes and services that TSC members use.

SEPS had been participating in the daily operational planning teleconferences (DOPT) via phone since 2013, but didn’t have access to TSC’s IT infrastructure. In April 2016, the negotiations and preparations for a six-month trial membership started. Last week, the Slovakian operators took part in a special training given by TSCNET, and prepared the ground for the technical go-live of the trial-phase. As a Slovak would say: Gratulujeme! Congratulations!


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Like building timelines and milestones


“A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result,” says the Project Management Institute, the world’s leading not-for-profit professional membership association for project, program and portfolio management. “Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.” Conducting an orchestra may be a good example, building a house is propably an even better one: There are a lot of people with different jobs and abilities involved, materials and equipment is needed at a certain place and a certain time, and it’s essential to keep costs, time and quality under control.

The coordination of TSC’s activities and the rendering of tailor-made coordination services for the European grid market requires professional management of coordination mechanisms, too. As a service providing company, TSCNET strives for best performance and high quality support for customers. In order to ensure that high quality services are delivered in this complex business environment, a clear focus on operational excellence was set for 2016. With the strategic priority of TSCNET to elevate organisational performance, the increase of excellence in project management became apparent. Therefore, TSCNET employed a three-step strategy to further professionalise project management.

  1. Project management training
    Project managers received a two-day training from an external provider. The training was adjusted to the needs of TSCNET and was held at the premises of TSCNET.
  2. Implementation of standards
    Based on existing project management standards, such as PMI and PMBOK a tailor-made and organisation-wide project management guide was implemented in order to further increase efficiency and effectiveness of projects.
    The “TSCNET Project Management Guide” describes rules, guidelines and standardized processes for project management. As a result, the establishment of a strong framework for projects, not only internal and external transparency is guaranteed, but also organisational set-ups of projects are clarified.
  3. Continuous improvement
    Changing demands and needs require businesses to adapt constantly. Therefore, it is necessary to continuously improve project management practices. With the establishment of the project management group, TSCNET created a platform for project managers to exchange knowledge and contribute to the refinement of project management standards.

“Why do so many professionals say they are project managing, when what they are actually doing is fire fighting?” asked Colin Bentley, a project management expert and best-selling author. At TSCNET Services, we want to avoid fire fighting by mitigating risks and solving problems before they become insurmountable.

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Gifted by nature


Sustainability and corporate social responsibility have evolved into being globally recognised as an integral way of how to do business. In autumn 2015, TSCNET Services decided to launch a corporate volunteering programme. Last Friday, seven TSCNET volunteers supported a local group of “Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland” (BUND), Germany’s biggest non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving nature and protecting the environment, during leisure time. On a unique and species rich marshland south of Munich protected by the Habitats Directive of the European Union, the group helped to protect dams, fell trees, and remove scrub to achieve a healthy balance on the site.

Next to environmental protection measures, TSCNET’s volunteering programme also includes a cooperation with a residential home for refugees from countries like Syria and Afghanistan in Munich near our office. The home is managed by Caritas, the largest welfare association in Germany. By now, TSCNET employees organised both a board game night and a bowling evening within the programme. A source of inspiration and a learning experience for everyone.


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Advanced training premiere


For the first time TSCNET holds a “TSC User Training – Advanced” as a part of the TSC Training, Certification & Licensing Programme. The training started today in Munich, Germany, and will finish tomorrow. One of the main topics is the handling of so-called Multilateral Remedial Actions (MRAs). Ten users from seven TSC member transmission system operators (TSOs) from five countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Switzerland) participate. As Albert Einstein said: “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

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Educational contacts in Bavaria


IESE, the graduate business school of the University of Navarra, Spain, offers an Executive Management Development programme for transmission system operators (TSOs) for the first time. This evening, a group of 19 participants of the programme from seven European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and Switzerland) visited our office in Munich, Germany, and learned more about TSC and TSCNET’s tools and services for TSOs. They were accompanied by Cristina Rambaud, programme director at IESE.

> See IESE website (html)

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