Congestion management

The single European electricity market has grown closer in recent years: Since the end of the 1990s, electricity has increasingly been traded across borders. However, the transmission capacity at the cross-border hubs with European neighbours is limited due to the way the system has historically developed. In many places, the desired transmission capacity exceeds the actually available transmission capacity, causing bottlenecks.

Congestion management seeks to prevent such bottlenecks, with auctions being one of the key instruments used in most European countries today: Cross-border transmission capacity is being auctioned, which requires that all companies start from the same baseline criteria and conditions.

General

In accordance with § 15 of the German Electricity Grid Access Ordinance (StromNZV) of 25/07/2005 and pursuant to EC Regulation 1228/2003 on cross-border exchanges in electricity, transmission system operators are obliged to allocate the available line capacities through market-oriented and transparent procedures without discrimination in case of congestion, insofar as such congestion cannot be prevented by means of grid- and market-related measures within economically reasonable boundaries.

To allocate the limited available transfer capacities between the grid areas of the European transmission system operators, coordinated explicit auctions take place. The Joint Allocation Office (JAO) is responsible for their organisation. The JAO is a platform for the allocation of cross-border electricity transmission capacities at the current 27 borders within Europe. It was created on 01/09/2015 as the merger of both regional auction offices: CAO Central Allocation Office GmbH and CASC EU S.A. JAO currently provides services to 20 transmission system operators from 17 different countries . You can find information on this subject here:

www.jao.eu

The capacities for the transmission of electricity that 50Hertz markets in this manner are determined using the Net Transfer Capacities (NTC) method.

www.entsoe.eu

Development of a load flow based market coupling procedure for the CEE region

To achieve its goal of creating a single European internal energy market, the European Commission has prescribed the Europe-wide introduction of the integrated Single Price Coupling (SPC) for day-ahead power trading.
To implement this guideline, the eight transmission system operators and the seven exchanges / market operators of the CEE region are working on the development and implementation of a flow based market coupling procedure.

Close cooperation with European neighbours

The grid capacity available via the KONTEK direct current cable between Energinet.dk (Sealand/Denmark) and 50Hertz is coordinated in close cooperation with Danish transmission system operator Energinet.dk:

Under the ERGEG Regional Initiative Northern Europe, market coupling of the Scandinavian and German electricity markets by way of implicit auctions via the interconnectors between Energinet.dk (Jutland/Denmark) and TenneT TSO GmbH, and via the KONTEK direct current cable between Energinet.dk (Seeland/Denmark) and 50Hertz was established with effect from 09 November 2009. The European Market Coupling Company GmbH (EMCC) has been entrusted with carrying out these implicit auctions at the German-Danish border, and - in this context - with managing the transmission capacity available over the KONTEK direct current cable.

Press release on Market Coupling Germany-Denmark

In November 2010 the Interim Tight Volume Coupling between northern Europe (NE) and central western Europe (CWE) was introduced by the EMCC and the 16 transmission system operators and electricity exchanges, simultaneously with the market coupling for CWE. You can find information on this subject here:
You can find information on this subject here:

www.marketcoupling.com

To achieve its goal of creating a single European internal energy market, the European Commission has prescribed the Europe-wide introduction of the integrated Single Price Coupling (SPC) for day-ahead power trading.
As a first step, the SPC was introduced on 4 February 2014 in the north-western European (NWE: grouping of the NE, CWE and GB regions) and south-western European (SWE) regions, replacing the ITVC implemented by the EMCC. The following steps will see the expansion of the SPC with more regions.

Press release on NWE price coupling (04/02/2014) 

The available transfer capacity of the KONTEK direct current cable is currently being added to the SPC by Nord Pool AS.

Report on vPST pilot phase experience

The Polish transmission grid operator PSE and 50Hertz launched the operational phase of the virtual Phase Shift Transformer (vPST) on 18 March 2014. It should enable control of unplanned power flows, ensure system security and foster cross-border electricity trade until physical phase shift transformers are installed at the Polish-German border. The partners tested the vPST mechanism during its pilot phase from 8 January to 30 April 2013 and drew conclusions for the current operational phase. The commonly drafted report presents principles, cases of application and the most important results of the vPST pilot Phase.