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© ICIS HEREN - Energy regulators to boost cross-border electricity grid information
2011-07-20
Europe`s energy regulators have taken a first step towards common rules for electricity-system operation. The new rules will boost the flow of real-time information on plant and cable shutdowns, congestion and demand between the operators and users of different grids.
They will also regulate the load frequency control, scheduling, balancing and emergency restoration after blackouts.
The need for such regulations is becoming urgent as renewable energy is deployed on a large scale and cross-border trading surges, the national regulators` umbrella organisation said as it published its draft framework guidelines this week.
The Agency for Energy Regulator Cooperation (ACER) said large wind farms and solar-power installations, for example, are likely to create new bottlenecks and loop flows at cross-border points.
And this renewable-energy boom will coincide with the liberalisation of energy markets, with the load and transaction flow across borders increasing.
Even operators of densely meshed grids are likely to struggle to predict border flows unless there are binding rules for standardised information on demand and supply of electricity transport capacity, ACER said.
The agency is now planning to draw up its final framework guideline on system operation by the end of the year and is running a consultation on the draft.
The draft under consultation includes rules that variable generation forecasts circulate across borders instead of just within a national market.
"Information needs to be available throughout control areas and voltage levels horizontally and vertically," ACER said in an impact assessment accompanying the draft. "This is one of the most important challenges for well coordinated and coherent evaluations of operational security." The framework guidelines will be turned into detailed network codes by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity. The network codes will become legally binding after a vote in the European Commission.
(THE ICIS HEREN REPORTS - EDEM 15137 / 20 July 2011)

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