Regional Security Coordination Initiatives: TSOs Stand Up to the Challenges of the Future

More than ever, national TSOs need constant information about the evolutions and possible perturbations of neighbouring countries’ power flows. TSOs must also more closely coordinate their actions, which have increasing consequences on other countries’ grids.

System operators are experiencing strong short-term changes in regional power flows that can neither be forecasted nor managed securely at the national scale, particularly due to increased international electricity exchanges and the rise of non-controllable renewable energy sources.

To tackle these operational challenges, TSOs have been voluntarily developing Regional Security Coordination Initiatives (RSCIs) since 2009, with CORESO and TSC being the pioneers in this respect in continental Europe.

How Do System Operators Work With RSCIs? RSCIs are service providers and were not built with live system operations capabilities. The way TSOs use the input of RSCIs to operate their grid differs between these five core services. For example, for operational planning security analysis (1) and outage planning coordination (3), RSCIs perform regional calculations that are important to the national TSOs’ decision-making, but TSOs still need to consider several other national factors not captured by regional calculations. The final operational decision-making by the national TSO cannot be delegated.

For the other three core services (coordinated capacity calculation, shortand medium-term adequacy forecasts and individual and common grid model delivery), the result of the regional calculation is a sound product on which many TSOs and market parties can base their decisions. The decision-making power of the TSOs in such joint regional calculations consists largely of checking for errors and giving authorisation for the calculation result to be used (e.g., for the calculated capacities to become the basis for allocation of congested interfaces).