Power Update: Auto-Balancing & other improvements

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Intro

As we mentioned this summer, we are implementing exciting new features. Today we shine a light on 2 improvements that will increase efficiency and operational excellence for your operations desk:

  • Imbalance check & warning upon nomination
  • Auto-balancing within or across power grids

These features are also part of a solid foundation that will enable our gas & power solution to support automatic nominations and algo-trading in the future.

Let’s dive quickly into these ‘features’ – and more importantly why they matter to you!

Imbalance Checks

Imbalance checks are quite straight-forward, but they are a great quality-of-life improvement that can avoid/lower human error on your operations desk.

Say that your team wants to nominate/schedule across several balancing groups, then it will give a warning which ones that are not balanced – and prevent the nomination to be sent for these balancing groups.

Why is this important?: Depending on the TSO there are different rules on how to send nominations. For some grids in gas and power you nominate individual ‘points’ such as the hub, load, borders, (industrial) customers, storage, etc. In some grids (like Germany and Luxembourg), power nominations to the TSO happen ‘in one file’ containing the sum of all these ‘points’ for a balancing group.

This ‘total position’ must be balanced. If your nomination for a certain balancing group is not balanced the TSO shall reject it. Some clients choose to send these imbalanced schedules and correct afterwards (hence the ‘imbalance checks’ are an optional setting).

However, time is money, and when your team is running up against a deadline it can cause stress and/or human error! Imagine you have a big portfolio and your team has sent out nominations across several grids, each one containing multiple balancing groups. After a rejection from one of the TSOs it can take some time to search what went wrong for which balancing group. The imbalance check prevents this hassle and lowers the potential for mistakes.

To summarise, imbalance checks can help your dispatchers pinpoint issues in no time – which is great when managing large portfolios. On top of that it will prevent imbalanced nominations to go out. Enabling this option for your dispatching team should save your company time & money and give you peace of mind.

Auto-balancing

Overview

Once we have deployed imbalance checks we can move into the interesting territory of automatic balancing (auto-balancing). As with imbalance checks the goal here is to increase the efficiency and decrease human error when handling shipping & power scheduling.  

When a new forecast or data from an ETRM system comes into the EgssPort Power Scheduling software, one or more of your grids may show a positive or negative imbalance.

With our auto-balancing feature it is possible to set detailed rules that allow smooth day-after, intra-day, or day-ahead balancing within and across power grids.

Our clients can set specific rules for each grid, and they have the option to enable or disable these features on a grid-by-grid basis:

What’s interesting is that you can set the ‘lead time’ for cross-grid balancing according to the needs and your risk management strategy. Whenever you do push the ‘auto-balance’ button it will take into account the latest data (the most ‘actual’ values) in your system.

Below we see that there is a rule for ‘positive imbalances’ (= ‘being long’) on 50Hertz grid saying any of these should move these to specific Balancing Group on the Amprion grid. You can see that there’s many possibilities to tailor your rules for each situation.

By the way: Balancing Circle = Balancing Group (from the German Bilanzkreis)

Example: Cross-border auto-balancing on 2 German power grids

Let’s see how this works in practice: in our example below we have a ‘positive imbalance’ of 5000Mwh on the 50Hertz Grid for the time-slice of 00:00-00:15, also known as being ‘long’.

We cannot nominate as the imbalance check gives us a warning that we are ‘long’ 5GWh. In order to solve this imbalance we can click the ‘Auto-Balance’ button, which will try to balance within or across grids according to the rules set in the settings. After a few seconds the auto-balancing exercise was successful:

When we dive in detail of the portfolio we indeed see that the 5GWh was moved through the border between 50Hz-Amprion.

Looking at the Amprion grid portfolio we see the same move but in reverse, with 5000 arriving from 50Hertz, and afterwards being booked to the FC_Cons (ForeCast Consumption) line, which is the ‘default rule’ – bringing all grids in balance.

Looking at the Amprion grid we can also see this in more detail with 5000 being listed as the ‘Auto Bal Qty’ (= auto-balance quantity) on the 50Hertz border for the 00:00 timeslot.

The great thing is that once you have auto-balanced, all the grids have been updated with the latest values.

Detailed Logs

Last but not least there is the option of detailed logging, allowing clients to automatically receive a detailed log for every auto-balancing exercise.

If something went wrong this can help the operations team identify at which step the auto-balancing didn’t work out.

Short market updates Q4

  1. For Belgium & Netherlands the H-gas interconnector, Zelzate 2, will be rolled into the  Virtual Interconnection Point VIP BENE on 01/01/2021. More info on Fluxys: https://www.fluxys.com/en/news/fluxys-belgium/2020/201030_invite-to-comment_ia_zz2_vip-bene

2. For the Italian Market we are making slow but steady progress with implementing SNAM Rete Gas into EgssPort Gas. So far we have seen some delay in response from the TSO, but the border flows & nominations on Italian Borders have been set-up.