The EU is realising its vision of a single internal electricity market, and APG is helping to create the foundation for this. We operate the cross-border electricity lines without which there could be no import or export of electricity. We also provide the marketplace that enables Austrian electricity traders and customers to access the European electricity market.
A strong power supply grid for a strong Europe
Coordinating all of these international networks poses great challenges. The integrated European power grid also brings many advantages, however, including an enormous enhancement in energy security in Europe.
For example, if a major power plant or transmission line in the transmission system network fails, the subsequent supply gap can be quickly filled in a cooperative effort, thus mitigating the risk of a variation in frequency, a drop in voltage (brownout) or even a total power outage (blackout). The greater the share of fluctuating supply in the grid (e.g. from wind farms), the more important it is to maintain a balanced grid and to safeguard grid operations via as many power plant units as possible.
The same rules for everyone
It is only possible to run a transmission system network when all of the participating system operators follow the same rules. That is why all TSOs in continental Europe have agreed on common norms and standards and signed a multilateral agreement (MLA) in which they undertake to comply with the “Operation Handbook” in which those norms and standards are laid out. Any violations of the rules are subject to high penalties.
Cross-border cooperation between TSOs
In 1999, ETSO (European Transmission System Operators) was created as an association merging the four existing TSO organisations in Europe (UCTE, NORDEL, ATSOI and UKTSOA) with the goal of better managing the new challenges arising from the open market.
In July 2009, all of the above organisations were integrated into ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) as the new umbrella organisation. UCTE continues to exist as the Regional Group Continental Europe, and remains the contact entity when any cross-regional coordination issues arise. APG also maintains close relationships with neighbouring TSOs in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia.
Transmission System Operator Security Cooperation
TSO Security Cooperation (TSC) is an association of eleven European transmission system operators. Its stated goal is to further increase the security of electricity transmission networks in Central Europe and thus secure the supply of electricity for 170 million Europeans over the long term.
TSC enables the TSOs to coordinate their work more closely among each other.
- is an initiative aimed at improving the security of Europe’s power grid;
- is the perfect supplement to other international initiatives and cooperation centres;
- represents an important step in securing the overall European power grid, and is open to additional TSOs as members;
- develops and implements new multilateral processes, which allows it to maintain high standards for the security of its members’ plants; and
- helps TSOs to better manage their expanding operations, particularly with respect to the integration of wind power and the settlement of cross-border electricity trading and transport operations, which are on the rise.
More information on TSC is available in the TSC road movie: TSC - The Road Movie