Transmission system operators

Transmission System
Operators

The transmission system operators – responsible as experts for the security of supply

The four German transmission system operators (TSOs) plan and maintain Germany’s ultra-high voltage grid and regulate grid operations. They contribute their expertise and experience towards ensuring the secure expansion of the grid and are thus responsible for the security and stability of the German power supply system. This means that they must guarantee the uninterrupted exchange of electricity across all regions using their power lines and also ensure that generation and consumption levels are balanced at all times. Over the coming decades, the main task of the four TSOs will therefore be to establish an energy supply infrastructure for Germany that is fit for the future and equipped with up to date, efficient and environmentally friendly technology.

Learn more about the tasks performed by the four transmission system operators on the following websites:

The Energiewende – new challenges for the energy infrastructure

The Energiewende – the transition in German energy policy to focus on expanding renewable sources of energy – presents new challenges for Germany’s transmission grid. The main reason behind this is that, in several regions in Germany, the amount of electricity generated from wind farms, for example, exceeds grid capacity. This type of electricity is often produced far away from core consumption areas and must be distributed accordingly. This is also frequently the case with solar power or energy generated from biomass. The percentage of electricity obtained from renewable energy sources is set to increase in future and so the level of demand for expanding the grid will therefore also increase dramatically in the coming years.

The Energiewende is thus making lasting changes to the shape of Germany’s energy infrastructure. Over the forthcoming years, the main task of the transmission system operators will therefore be to establish an infrastructure for the German energy supply that is fit for the future and equipped with their efficient and environmentally friendly technology.

The transmission system operators dedicate their expertise and experience towards ensuring the secure expansion of the grid. They plan and maintain the ultra-high voltage grid, regulate network operations and are responsible for the safe operation of the entire electrical system. Their work represents a significant contribution towards ensuring that the electricity supply of the future serves all the objectives of security of supply, cost effectiveness and environmental protection in equal measure. The TSOs are thus key players in integrating electricity from renewable sources into the German grid infrastructure.

 

A future-proof energy infrastructure – a project for the whole of society

The transmission system operators receive extensive support from politics, the economy, the academic world and the general public in their mission to create an electricity infrastructure that is fit for the future. It is only as a project for the whole of society that we can succeed in successfully developing a modern energy infrastructure. This includes a large-scale dialogue as a basis for social acceptance.

The TSOs thus bear a special responsibility in this quest; throughout the planning process, they strive to ensure the greatest possible degree of transparency, information and participation.

Transmission map

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The four transmission system operators

The four German transmission system operators (TSOs) plan and maintain Germany’s ultra-high voltage grid and regulate grid operations. They contribute their expertise and experience towards ensuring the secure expansion of the grid and are thus responsible for the security and stability of the German power supply system. This means that they must guarantee the uninterrupted exchange of electricity across all regions using their power lines and also ensure that generation and consumption levels are balanced at all times. Over the coming decades, the main task of the four TSOs will therefore be to establish an energy supply infrastructure for Germany that is fit for the future and equipped with up to date, efficient and environmentally friendly technology.

Amprion GmbH

11,000 km long, running through seven German states – from Lower Saxony to the Saarland and all the way to the Austrian and Swiss borders – Amprion operates Germany’s longest ultra-high voltage grid from its company headquarters in Dortmund. In a grid covering 73,100 km², Amprion supplies 29 million people with energy around the clock – almost 1,250 members of staff are employed at numerous company locations to guarantee a stable, secure and economically viable electricity supply.

Amprion plans to invest 5,6 billion euro in its transmission grid by 2026. The main shareholders are German financial investors from the insurance and pension fund industry. RWE AG holds a minority share.

Amprion has a very important position in the electricity market thanks to its central geographic location. The TSO also plays a key role beyond the borders of its own region – from its company headquarters in Dortmund and Brauweiler near Cologne, the company carries out vital tasks in coordinating Germany’s four control areas as well as in the field of international energy transport. Amprion maintains interconnecting lines to nine foreign TSOs and can thus fulfil the demands of European electricity traders with the highest levels of safety during transport. These capacities will continue to grow over the coming years.

50 Hertz Transmission

Over 40% of Germany’s installed wind energy output derives from the 50Hertz control area. This means that the company is not only responsible for providing electricity to 18 million people, but also for one of the largest energy export regions in Europe. It is a world leader in the integration of energy from renewable sources.

At 50Hertz, eight locations with around 950 members of staff are kept busy ensuring a constant electricity supply to their region. 50Hertz’s grid area comprises around 109,360 km², covering Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The 9,980 kilometre-long grid is managed and monitored from the Transmission Control Centre in Neuenhagen, near Berlin. Company headquarters are located in Berlin. 50Hertz is also responsible for connecting Germany’s offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea to the national grid. EnBW Baltic 1, the first commercial offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, has officially been in operation since May 2011.

Belgian transmission system operator Elia and the Australian infrastructure fund manager IFM Investors are shareholders in 50Hertz, which is part of the international Elia Group.

TenneT TSO

From the Danish border to the Alps; covering 140,000 km² – about 40% of Germany’s total area – more than 20 million people rely on the electricity supply from TenneT TSO GmbH. The TenneT company consolidates the knowledge and innovation of two countries – in October 2010 TenneT TSO GmbH was established as the German subsidiary company of the Dutch transmission system operator TenneT. As the first cross-border TSO in Europe, the company connects power lines between Germany and the Netherlands and is strongly involved in international cooperation and transfer of expertise, particularly in the offshore sector.

10,700 kilometres of ultra-high voltage grid are operated, maintained and developed by TenneT TSO and its 1,700 employees. The control area  reaches all the way from Schleswig-Holstein in the north, through Lower Saxony and Hesse down to Bavaria in the south of the country. German executive management operates from Bayreuth, other key centres of operation are located in Lehrte near Hanover and in Bamberg. The TenneT  grid is monitored from the control centres established in Lehrte and Dachau, near Munich, where load flow and power system security calculations are made as well as forecasts for electricity demand; these form the foundation of the secure transport of energy throughout Germany and are key to maintaining a stable grid frequency.

TenneT Offshore GmbH, an associate company, deals with all matters concerning connection lines at sea, whilst TenneT TSO handles transmission on land.

TransnetBW

Every day, the 600 employees of TransnetBW GmbH provide for  the 3,200 km of ultra-high voltage grid in their 34,600 km² region. TransnetBW  operates the transmission grid in Baden-Württemberg, which is connected to the national and European integrated grid at a number of cross-border transfer points. At the borders of its control area, it is directly connected not only to grid within Germany, but also to those in France, Austria and Switzerland.

The company’s headquarters are located in Stuttgart, however, the true core of the company lies in Wendlingen, just outside Stuttgart. TransnetBW’s system control centre is one of the most state-of-the-art in Europe; from here the company carries out nationwide load offsetting for energy generated from combined heat and power stations.