New hire: Oscar-worthy move to Service Operations


When the Academy Awards were ceremoniously given in Hollywood at the end of February, we at TSCNET Services had a relaxed time leaning back: We already had our Oscar. And as the “Roma” director Alfonso Cuarón, probably the most undisputed winner of this year, reminded of his home country Mexico, we were also on the bright side: Mexico indeed is also the birthplace of Oscar F. Muñoz, the new Senior Service Analytics & Quality Manager in our Service Operations unit.

Oscar was born 43 years ago in Mexico City, with officially just under nine million inhabitants one of the world’s largest cities. The connection to electric power was already there: His father was an electrical technician, and at the age of twelve Oscar chose electricity as a school subject. After graduating from the Instituto Politécnico Nacional with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and energy systems, he went to the USA to earn his Master of Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After about two and a half years as an electrical design engineer and then as a bids & proposals engineer for medium and low voltage equipment, Oscar worked for 16 years in the development of software for use in the analysis, simulation and visualisation of electrical networks, first in the USA, then in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg.

At the end of 2018, Oscar signed up for TSCNET Services. “I was interested in a career transition from conceiving and implementing software tools for power systems to the utilisation of such software in direct applications within the environment of transmission system operators,” he explains. In Munich, his ambitious goal is to combine his education, his skills, and his many years of experience to contribute to the improvement and development of processes and tools for the analysis and visualisation of complex large-scale power systems. Hollywood, please make a note of this – it sounds like some award-winning deeds again.

Oscar F. Muñoz is the new Senior Service Analytics & Quality Manager in the Service Operations unit

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Tenacious New Year’s wishes – welcome, Ines!


Starting into the new year with lofty wishes and plans, and then later too often finding out that it hadn’t worked out again. “It’s only normal”, many would say. But sometimes it just takes a long time – as with Ines Bernal, the new Business Analyst in TSCNET’s Service Development unit. The 26-year-old Madrilenian was in Munich for the first time during the New Year’s holidays 2008 and thought to herself: “I like it here – I wouldn’t mind living and working here later”. Well, and now here she is.

But Ines has made excellent use of the past years. After studying Industrial Engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, she obtained a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago. There she specialised in modelling energy systems in order to develop programmes to optimise network operation. She then returned to Madrid and made an internship with the line maintenance department of REE, the Spanish transmission system operator (TSO). She became familiar with maintenance plans and methods. After her internship, she joined a consulting firm in Madrid about three years ago as a Power System Modeler, where she worked on various projects mainly in developing countries, from generation and transmission planning via wholesale market simulations to evaluating interconnection initiatives and cost analysis of service studies. “Time in countries like India, Egypt, Kenya or Rwanda has taught me a lot about my profession, but also about life as a whole,” she says.

The enthusiastic sportswoman has chosen TSCNET for various reasons. On the one hand, she wants to participate in state-of-the-art activities on a multinational level. On the other hand, she sees the willingness to grow, learn and explore new technologies and methods. As a business analyst, a whole bunch of important tasks awaits her, for example the development of service prototypes, the search for new approaches to business optimisation, carrying out network analyses or coordinating development proposals with our customers. “In the end, it’s all about good solutions that give our customers with all their needs real added value,” summarises Ines. Customers and colleagues alike will love to hear that. Welcome to the team!

Ines Bernal from Spain has joined TSCNET Services as Business Analyst in the Service Development Unit

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Transantlantic cooperation on grid modernisation


Representing 43 European electricity transmission system operators (TSOs), the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has a good deal of know-how on cooperation issues. Although coordination in order to modernise and integrate the transmission system at the pan-European level is certainly challenging enough, the focus of ENTSO-E is by no means limited to Europe. As a sign of this, ENTSO-E and the American Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have signed a memorandum of understanding on collaborative research, development and innovation initiatives.

Aspects such as next generation tools and processes, transmission and distribution system communication, information exchange or cyber security are all covered by the joint declaration. Both organisations expect the collaboration to provide valuable impulses for their respective ambitious future visions, “European Power System 2040” and “Integrated Energy Network”. Laurent Schmitt, ENTSO-E Secretary General, commented on the occasion: “As the pace of change in technology development and implementation continues to accelerate, this collaboration allows us to address common issues that are truly international in nature.”

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

Picture: Edited screenshot taken from video “The Integrated Energy Network: 2017 Summer Seminar” (EPRI, YouTube)

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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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G7 ministers visit converter platform


This Monday and Tuesday, the energy ministers and their representatives of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States met in Hamburg, Germany, to discuss possibilities to ensure long-term sustainable energy security. One of the items on the agenda was the visit of HelWin alpha converter platform in the North Sea, operated by the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT.

See TenneT press release (html, in German)

See BMWi press release (html)

Image using a picture by BMWi / Maurice Weiss


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