German, Polish grids to manage cross-border power flows better

Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:27pm GMT

* 50Hertz, PSE cooperate on border lines

* Southern interconnector to be equipped better

* Northern line to be upgraded during two-year closure

FRANKFURT, April 13 (Reuters) - German and Polish grid operators are putting measures in place to stabilise excess flows of German renewable energy into Poland and to allow more commercial power trading between the two countries.

Germany's 50Hertz and Poland's PSE will use transformers, or phase shifters, to regulate flows on a southern link from May and have agreed to shut a northern link from June until 2018 for upgrades, the companies said on Wednesday.

"Through these measures, the grid operators expect more possibilities for cross-border power trading," they said.

German industry data shows there were virtually no imports of Polish power in 2015 while 10.7 gigawatts (GW) of German power flowed into Poland, but mostly in unplanned bursts rather than planned transactions.

The upshot is that about 1.3 GW of interconnector capacity is not being used fully, a fact that is not just lamented by traders but is also a reason for Polish criticism of how Germany's green transformation affects its neighbours.

The unregulated electricity flows, mostly from wind farms in Germany's sparsely populated north, can overload outdated cross-border transmission lines, making calculated trading impossible while increasing operating costs and the risk of blackouts.   Continued...

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