European system operators form common security platform

EUROPEAN UNION - Cooperation between the power industries of European countries is targeting increased security of supply and efficient transnational grid operations for an area with a population of approximately 170 million E.U. citizens.

An agreement has been made to set up a Transmission System Operator (TSO) system security cooperation group. Members of the group — TSO Verbund AG, TIWAG-Netz, Swissgrid, EnBW Transportnetze, E.ON Netz, RWE TSO, VE Transmission, TenneT TSO, PSE Operator and CEPS — will develop a permanent group of experts known as the TSO Security Panel.

A common IT platform will start operation in 2009. This will allow for data exchange and the ability to perform common security assessments, creating a high level of system security in the center of Europe. MAVIR, the Hungarian TSO, has indicated interest in joining the group this year.

Special attention will be given to improving the management of the growing operational needs for the integration of wind energy into the grid, increasing cross-border trading and increasing electricity transport. Assessment results enable all the participating TSOs to perform advanced studies and identify remedial actions. The TSOs will use the system within day-to-day regional operational planning, and in a second phase they will move to day-ahead processes that deal with system operations close to a real-time mode.

The system will complement work at the German-Dutch security center in Rommerskirchen, Germany, near Cologne, which was established in July 2008 and started operations in the first week of 2009. Experts from RWE Transpornetz Strom and TenneT TSO will support the security management of the extra-high voltage grids of Germany and the Netherlands.

Grid administrators will be provided with supra-national security calculations. Bottlenecks in the grid will be located, and the system operation activities of the two companies will be supported with analyses. The area served has a population of 43 million.

RWE TS managing director Klaus Kleinkorte said, "Due to the enormous increase in wind energy in Germany and the Netherlands, we are faced with ever more fluctuations in the electricity flows on the grid. The shared security center plays an important role in this regard, because its main duty is to enhance the security of supply on both sides of the border."

RWE TS pools all the high voltage grid activities of the RWE Energy Group with a total length of 11,300 kilometers, which is accessible to all players in the German electricity market. TenneT TSO controls the 9,000-kilometer Dutch grid and monitors the domestic power supply. TenneT is currently investing in several major projects, including new interconnections to Germany and the United Kingdom.


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