System Operations Committee

​​ENTSO-E’s system operation activities are overseen by the ENTSO-E System Operation Committee presided by Joachim Vanzetta from Amprion, Germany, as Chairman and by Duncan Burt from National Grid, UK, as Vice-Chairman. The Committee reports to the ENTSO-E Board and Asembly.

All activities of the ENTSO-E system operation committee are supported by the ENTSO-E system operation secretariat team.

What we do

System operations is the core activity of any transmission system operator (TSO). It covers the actions taken to ensure the optimal and secure operation of the grid in real-time.

The ENTSO-E System Operations activities are about:

  • Developing European operational standards notably through network codes;
  • Protecting critical infrastructure systems;
  • Developing and maintaining a common system operation channel: the Electronic Highway;
  • Developing a common model of the grid that can be used for system operation;
  • Defining a methodology for dealing with operational reserves – power reserves that can be activated to maintain the grid balanced;
  • Classification and follow up of operational incidents;
  • Promotion and enhancement of coordinated system operation and services notably through the regional service providers.

How we are organized

Groups within SOC

Currently there are a number of steering and working groups under the SOC committee. Each group is supported by our secretariat team. You can learn more about each group below.

The amount of power exchanges across different TSOs’ control zones dramatically increased since the liberalization of the market. In most cases this led to congestions on tie-lines between control zones and sometimes to internal congestions within the zones themselves. These constraints have to be taken into account by TSOs already in the operational planning phase, and communicated to the market in form of transmission capacity allocation rules and procedures.

The System Operations Committee represents all TSOs and is chaired by Joachim Vanzetta from Amprion, Germany. Its vice-chairman is Duncan Burt from National Grid, UK.

The System Operations Committee (SOC) ensures a high standard of operability, reliability and security of the European electricity transmission systems within the framework of liberalised energy markets.

The Committee provides proposals for harmonization of operational standards (network codes and rules) on the pan-European level and promotes operational coherence among regions. It contributes to ensure compatibility between system operation, market solutions and system development issues.

On the pan-European level, the SOC defines and updates technical and operational standards for implementation by regions and individual TSOs, as well as reports to the ENTSO-E Assembly on how these standards have been implemented.

The SOC develops and ensures the implementation of common tools used in the TSOs’ operational environment such as data exchanges, network models and forecast tools, wide area measurement system, etc. It maintains the timeliness and effectiveness of inter TSO normal and emergency operating procedures by coordinating data requirements and defining data confidentiality principles.

Further tasks of the SOC are to monitor, assess and, where appropriate, report on the quality-level of transmission system operation and important transmission network operation events on a regular basis, and to provide a forum for addressing the operational and security reliability aspects of the electric transmission systems in Europe.

In order to fulfil these goals a broad range of activities are identified and closely followed on the SOC level and the level of SOC’s Regional Groups (RGs).

SOC Activities

  • Developing European operational standards;
  • Protecting critical systems;
  • Developing and maintaining the Electronic Highway;
  • Developing a functional model;
  • Defining a methodology for dealing with operational reserves;
  • Classification and follow up of incidents;
  • Promotion and enhancement of coordinated system operation and services.

Regional Group Activities

  • Enhancing and developing operational processes;
  • Investigation of frequency deviations;
  • Enhancement and maintaining of network models and forecast tools;
  • Observing and enhancing the system performance and dynamic behaviour;
  • Compliance monitoring and enforcement; and
  • Integrating internal and interconnecting external systems.

Operations

Steering Group Operations reports to the System Operations Committee about relevant issues within the various RGs, RSCIs and coordinated balancing areas (COBAs). Steering Group Operations act as the single point of contact for all operational issues and tasks raised by ENTSO-E Assembly, ENTSO-E Board and System Operations Committee, which are defined in the Network Codes.

The main fields of activities of Steering Group Operations are operational planning, operational security, and frequency control.

Steering Group Operations contributes to defining and updating technical and operational standards as well as developing proposals for harmonization of operational standards on pan-European level and therefore promotes operational coherence among regions and synchronous areas.

Steering Group Operations promotes the evolution of existing operational processes and applications to cope with the day-to-day challenges of operation. Steering Group Operations coordinates operational tasks within its substructure to ensure efficient and effective use of the scarce resources of experts.

Steering Group Operations ensures the implementation of new concepts developed by Steering Group Strategy and decided by System Operations Committee to meet the challenges of continuous change in operational, organisational and technological as well as regulatory and social aspects of Transmission System Operation.

Working Group Incident Classification Scale

​​The incidents classification scale (ICS) is a requirement under Regulation (EC) 714/2009 where transmission system operators (TSOs) are asked to develop a common incidents classification scale. The ICS is published along with a guideline document in order to ease the reporting and use of a temporary reporting tool. The guideline document describes the classification scale procedure of use.

The ICS must be used by all ENTSO-E TSOs. Every TSO is required to define an internal organisation to use the classification scale. As the power system is subject to various contingencies including grid disturbances and system disturbances that may potentially, regardless of where they occur, lead to widespread incident over a large part of interconnected systems, the knowledge of the main causes and most important sources of disturbance and the learning from recent incidents are necessary for TSOs to avoid their recurrence.

Depending on the type of disturbances, TSOs are required to agree bilaterally with whom they have to report and the information to be exchanged. The reporting will have to be done by the TSO of the system where the disturbance has occurred. The ICS aims to:

  • Describe the principles of classification with full explanations about the methodology used to establish correspondence between events and level of importance with regard to system security;
  • Define the process each TSO will have to apply in order to analyse classified events;
  • Define reporting and analyses procedures at ENTSO-E level;
  • Allow for tracking of the number of events that occur;
  • Allow for tracking of the status of the security level by analysing the violations of pre-set thresholds;
  • Put into evidence needs to perform feedback analyses and, possibly, facilitate the identification of ways of progress to improve grid codes in order to avoid the reproduction of known situations.

Strategy

The main purpose of the StG Strategy is to define and develop strategies for the System Operations Committee to meet future challenges and changes in the power sector beyond the day-to-day operations.

Tasks of the Steering Group:

  • Develop a System Operation Strategy for SOC that considers system and market issues and developments for the next 10 years.
  • Ensure that all issues with a material relevance to SOC are identified and assessed. Where appropriate, identify potential mitigating projects and provide SOC with a prioritized work plan for these that align with the defined strategy. ​

IT & Tools

Working Group Electronic Highway

The electronic highway is a meshed router network (separate from the internet) connecting the European TSOs, and is designed for real-time and non-real-time data exchange between them. Today, the electronic highway covers the fields of exchange of real-time data and non real-time data related to grid operation, and of market related data.

The Working Group​ Electronic Highway (WG EH) coordinates the usage and extension of the electronic highway in order to provide a secure and reliable information exchange for system operations throughout Europe. The WG EH also works on general needs in terms of exchange of data among TSOs (type of data to be exchanged, parties authorised to access the electronic highway, new and future needs in terms of exchange of data…), and maintains standards to facilitate the data exchange for operational purposes.

Furthermore, the working group monitors the usage of the highway, promotes its secure and efficient operation, coordinates its maintenance, supports the extension of connections and services, and analyses and proposes solutions based on new communication technologies.


Network Codes

The StG Operational Framework is established under the System Operations Committee. Developing, implementing and monitoring of the adequate System Operation framework for the transmission systems of Europe, while ensuring sustainable further development and change management of this framework according to the needs of Operational Security, security of supply, TSOs and transmission grid users.

Learn more about the operations Network Codes


RSCs Strategy

Strategy group supporting the implementation of RSCs.

Learn more about Regional Security Coordinators


Working Group Critical System Protection

The reliable and secure operation of European transmission systems is only possible if the corresponding infrastructure is not endangered by natural phenomena or (adverse) human activity. Therefore, the protection of critical infrastructure must be ensured.

The Working Group Critical System Protection (WG CSP) copes with the development of critical system and infrastructure protection on European level. The European Commission (EC) published the “Directive on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection” (EPCIP).

The WG CSP acts as a counterpart to the European Commission in critical system protection issues. The WG CSP is responsible for coordinating critical system protection issues regarding electricity transmission. The main function of the WG CSP is to follow the development of the critical infrastructure protection at European level, and to contribute to the dialog with the European Commission on critical infrastructure protection.

To ensure the management of sensitive information (maps, models, and data) and to cope with the discrepancy of sensitive information versus required transparency, the WG CSP acts in close contact with the experts of the ENTSO-E Secretariat and in cooperation with all committees and expert groups across the entire ENTSO-E association.


Regional Groups

The System Operations Committee has 5 permanent regional groups based on the synchronous areas (Continental Europe, Nordic, Baltic, Great Britain, and Ireland-Northern Ireland), and 2 voluntary Regional Groups (Northern Europe and Isolated Systems).

Having a permanent character, these Regional Groups ensure compatibility between system operations on the one side and market solutions and system development issues on the other.

NEEDS TO BE UPDATED!

Regional Group

 

Participating Countries

 

Continental EuropeAustria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark (West), France, FYROM, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, Montenegro, Nederland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland
NordicDenmark (East), Finland, Norway and Sweden
BalticEstonia, Latvia, Lithuania
UKGreat Britain
IrelandIreland, Great Britain

The Regional Groups will continue the system operations activities of former TSO associations in Europe, addressing technical and operational aspects specific to the synchronously interconnected system operation.

  • Continental Europe - former UCTE
  • Nordic - former NORDEL
  • Baltic - former BALTSO
  • UK - former UKTSOA
  • Ireland - former ATSOI

Regional Group Continental Europe

The Regional Group Continental Europe comprises the TSOs of the former UCTE synchronous area. Please click through to access the list of the member TSOs.

The main purpose of the Regional Group Continental Europe (RG CE) is to pursue the reliable and efficient operation of the Continental Europe Synchronous Area. The RG CE provides a framework for the regional activities of the member TSOs in the Continental Europe Synchronous Area within ENTSO-E.

This includes, inter alia, the management of all operational issues (among others those related to frequency regulation, scheduling and accounting, and coordination services), development and updating of the Operation Handbook, implementation of the Operation Handbook and the procedures to be applied in case of potential infringements (Multilateral Agreement), compliance monitoring with the Operation Handbook, and interoperability assessments for requested extensions of the synchronous system.

The Multilateral Agreement (MLA) is an agreement dated 1 July 2005 including subsequent amendments by which the Parties (member TSOs of the former UCTE and today of the RG CE) have committed themselves to fully comply with the Operation Handbook and by which the parties have committed themselves to settle their possible disputes.

The Operation Handbook (OH) is a comprehensive collection of technical standards for the operation of the interconnected grid of the RG CE. It is divided in 8 Policies, 3 of them originating from 2005 and 4 originating from 2006, all having been revised in the meantime, and the 8th established in 2008. The Regional Group Continental Europe has 5 sub-groups:

System Extension Projects for the Continental European Synchronous Area

At present, the Regional Group Continental Europe (RG CE) has 2 System Extension Project Groups for dealing with system integration and extension issues:

The possible later extension of the Continental European synchronous zone to the systems of Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria is under direct supervision of the Spanish TSO REE.

Regional Group Nordic

The Regional Group Nordic (RGN) comprises the TSOs of former NORDEL. The member TSOs are:

The main purpose of the Regional Group Nordic is to conduct and promote the cooperation between the involved TSOs with the aim of ensuring a reliable operation, optimal management and technical development of the Nordic Synchronous Area.

The Group focuses on the operation of the Nordic synchronous system with attention given to system security issues and market operation.

Its tasks include, among other, the management of all operational issues related to the Nordic synchronous system (e.g. frequency management, coordination of outages, balance/congestion management, and coordination of system protection), training and education of operators, and development and updating of System Operation Agreement and of Nordic Operational Information System (NOIS).

Regional Group Baltic

The Regional Group Baltic (RGB) comprises the TSOs of the former BALTSO. The member TSOs are:

  • Estonia: Elering OÜ
  • Latvia: AS Augstsprieguma tÏkls
  • Lithuania: LITGRID AB

The tasks of the Regional Group Baltic include:

  • monitoring, analysing and reporting on power-system quality-level, changes and important network operation events on a regular basis;
  • organising and evaluating the possibility to integrate the Baltic power systems into pan-European operational standards;
  • ensuring the implementation of common development tools used in the Baltic TSOs’ operational environment;
  • ensuring that the development of the electricity market in the Baltic region is in compliance with security and reliability standards of TSOs’ operation, and;
  • approving solutions that improve the reliability, security and efficiency of the synchronous operation of transmission systems.

Sub-groups of the Regional Group Baltic

At present, the Group has 1 active sub-group: Synchronous Operation (SG SO). The tasks of the sub-group are to harmonize power system operational planning and control issues at TSO level in the Baltic region, and to harmonize and update existing power system security and reliability standards with other TSOs of the BRELL (Belorussia, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) synchronous zone.

The sub-group manages all technical aspects related to ancillary services and balancing mechanisms/market management within the Baltic power systems. It monitors and reports on issues such as frequency deviations, faults and disturbances, performance of the load-frequency control (LFC) of the Baltic power systems. It also prepares the compliance monitoring for the Baltic TSOs.

Regional Group Great Britain

The Regional Group Great Britain (GBRG) comprises the TSOs of the former UKTSOA. The member TSOs are:

  • United Kingdom: National Grid Electricity Transmission plc
  • United Kingdom: Scottish and Southern Energy plc
  • United Kingdom: Scottish Power Transmission plc

The main purpose of the Group is to ensure a high standard of operability, reliability and security of Great Britain’s electricity transmission systems within a framework of transparency and liberalised energy markets.

The Group proposes and decides about issues related to system operation relevant to its region in compliance with pan-European rules and standards, and provides a framework for regional activities in its synchronous area.

Its main tasks are to:

  • maintain, update and develop technical and operational standards and tools; make recommendations to deepen the co-operation framework for regions and individual TSOs within ENTSO-E;
  • monitor, analyse and report on power system quality levels, changes and important network operation events;
  • ensure the organization and application of common development tools such as data exchanges, network models and forecast tools, and;
  • initiate and approve further measures for harmonization.

The Regional Group Great Britain also introduces action plans regarding interoperability and co-ordination between regions and TSOs in normal and emergency situations; approves solutions that improve the efficiency of common systems, makes improvement proposals and communicate widely (both internally and externally) regarding operational issues, and cooperates with other regions and committees to achieve technical compatibility of proposed market and system development changes.

Regional Group Ireland-Northern Ireland

The Regional Group Ireland-Northern Ireland (INI-RG) comprises the TSOs of the former ATSOI. The member TSOs are:

  • United Kingdom: System Operation Northern Ireland Ltd
  • Ireland: EirGrid plc

The main purpose of the Group is to ensure a high standard of operability, reliability and security of the electricity transmission systems in Ireland and Northern Ireland within a framework of transparency and liberalised energy markets.

It proposes and decides on issues related to system operation in compliance with pan-European rules and standards, and provides a framework for regional activities in its synchronous area.

The main tasks of the Group are to:

  • maintain, update and develop technical and operational standards and tools; make recommendations to further deepen the co-operation framework for regions and individual TSOs in ENTSO-E;

  • monitor, analyse and report on power system quality levels, changes and important network operation events;
  • ensure the organization and application of common development tools such as data exchanges, network models and forecast tools, and;
  • initiate and approve harmonization actions.

The Group also:

  • introduces action plans regarding interoperability and co-ordination between regions and TSOs in normal and emergency situations;
  • approves solutions that improve the efficiency of common systems, makes improvement proposals and communicate widely (both internally and externally) regarding operational issues, and;
  • cooperates with other regions and committees to achieve technical compatibility of proposed market and system development changes.

Voluntary Regional Group Northern Europe

The members of the Voluntary Regional Group Northern Europe (VRG NE) are the following TSOs:

  • Denmark (East): Energinet.dk
  • Finland: Fingrid OyJ
  • Germany: TenneT TSO GmbH (corresponding member)
  • Germany: 50Hertz Transmission GmbH (corresponding member)
  • Netherlands: TenneT TSO B.V.
  • Norway: Statnett SF
  • Poland: PSE Operator S.A.
  • Sweden: Affärsverket Svenska Kraftnät

The Group concentrates its efforts on the joint operation and security of the Nordic synchronous system and the northern part of the synchronous system of Continental Europe with focus given on any impact that High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) interconnectors may have on these systems.

The tasks of the Group include, among others, all operational issues related to the HVDC interconnectors between the Nordic and Continental European synchronous areas to ensure the optimal use of the links with special focus on system security issues and market operation.

The Group proposes harmonised operation standards/codes for the operation of HVDC links either in the form of system operation agreements or multilateral agreements or as a general framework for bilateral agreements. It supports the implementation of operational codes for the links, cooperates with the owner of the interconnectors, which are not owned by the TSOs, and develops the transmission system to the future demand related to the integration of renewable energy sources in co-operation with other regional groups.

The Group specifically works on aspects concerning the HVDC interconnectors themselves and aspects concerning the system operation.

The Group further deals with legal issues related to HVDC interconnectors, such as owner relations and formal agreements, common operational agreements. Technical parameters (data, capacity and ramping, transmissions margins, handling of losses), and information exchange (content and format, time resolution of plans, aspects concerning the system operation) are also within the remit of the Group’s responsibilities.

When it comes to system operation, the Voluntary Regional Group Northern Europe focuses on operational planning (outage planning procedures, outage planning system, procedures for information exchange, operational information system), operational use of transfer capacities (exchange of ancillary services, system protection services, regional determination of transfer capacities), and a toolbox with countermeasures for n-1 disturbances (operational procedures for disturbances, extension of rescheduling in closed loop, emergency assistance and services, awareness system).

Voluntary Regional Group Isolated Systems

The members of the Voluntary Regional Group Isolated Systems (RG IS) are the following TSOs:

  • Cyprus: Cyprus Transmission System Operator
  • Iceland: Landsnet hf
  • Italy: Terna - Rete Elettrica Nazionale SpA
  • Spain: Red Eléctrica de España: S.A.

RG IS’s main purpose is to pursue the reliable and efficient operation of isolated systems. The Group provides a framework for regional activities of the member TSOs in isolated systems within ENTSO-E. High on its agenda is the aspect of reliability related to the operation and security of isolated power systems in Europe.

To achieve this, the RG IS contributes to the development of the ENTSO-E operation network codes by maintaining, updating and developing technical and operational standards, tools and recommendations focussing on the specificities of isolated systems.

It develops technical and regulatory frameworks to improve the performance of isolated systems and enable the integration of renewable energy sources and distributed generation, and proposes models to facilitate the integration and coordination of renewables and other distributed generation into distribution and transmission grids.

The aim of the Voluntary Regional Group Isolated System is to:

  • develop demand management schemes in isolated systems;
  • initiate and recommend harmonisation actions in the operational field of isolated systems;
  • cooperate with other regional groups to achieve technical compatibility of proposed operational solutions and proposed market and system development changes, and;
  • review and assess the impact of region-wide variances to the ENTSO-E codes on the reliable operation and security of isolated electricity transmission systems.
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