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Interconnector BeDeLux

The phase shifter transformer (PST) located in Schifflange connecting the grid of Elia and Creos was put in operation 11 October 2017 with a one year technical trial period. The technical trial phase was performed to gain experience and to assess whether a significant adjustment of the technical parameters (constraints and/or available PST taps for capacity calculation in DA Market Coupling timeframe) could be envisaged. Four quarterly monitoring reports of the technical trial phase have been shared with all CWE NRAs. The aim of technical reports is to assess the approved operational principles based on the collected data.
 
In addition to this main aim, during the trial phase, the involved parties have agreed on and implemented an adapted operation concept in order to maximise the operational time of use of the IC BeDeLux. This adaptation of the operational concept is one major improvement of the trial phase. It has allowed to improve the SoS of Luxembourg as the operation of the PST could be used as remedial action and helps to mitigate critical grid situations.
 
Based on the results of the trial phase, projects partners concluded that these results do not allow significant adaptation of the technical parameters and as such justifying the launch of a new SPAIC study. As the previous SPAIC study showed a neutral impact on the regional welfare due to limited use of the interconnector, the project parties have decided that there will be no commercialisation of the interconnector.

For more details, see the related Q&A.

What is the background of the project ?

In Luxembourg the public electricity distribution and transmission network is operated and owned by Creos. Creos is facing new challenges in the future, which require to review the appropriateness of the current network topology and to develop a sustainable expansion strategy of its transmission grid. The challenges include, but are not limited to the growing demand in Luxembourg, which require the expansion of the import capacities by reinforcements, and the envisaged restructuring of the 220 kV network by Amprion in the Trier-Luxembourg-Saar region, which affects the security of supply in Luxembourg. The required investments shall besides increasing the security of supply at the same time promote the further integration of the EU internal electricity market as requested by EC Regulation 714/2009.

Due to this, in 2009, Creos started a network development study to investigate an optimal long-term network strategy for the Luxembourgish grid. Creos in cooperation with neighbouring TSOs, in particular Elia, Amprion GmbH (Amprion) as well as RTE Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE), analysed several potential long-term network solutions to ensure the Luxembourgish supply is safe and secure until 2030. The TSOs also investigated potential immediate measures to ensure a safe and secure operation of the grid in 2020 and to allow an expansion of the grid towards a sustainable long-term solution. As immediate measures two variants were chosen that represent the least costly and at the same time easily and quickly implementable solutions: the pre-interim variant (First phase) and interim variant (Second Phase). These solutions will lead to the establishment of a new interconnection between Belgium and Luxembourg.  In parallel a reinforcement of the internal Luxembourg network is under construction in order to create a loop around Luxembourg city, so called LuxRing, easing the transit flows between the countries.

What is the main goal of the project ?

The decision to implement a physical interconnection between Luxembourg and Belgium was mainly triggered by Luxembourgish security of supply considerations. Besides this, the new interconnection will contribute to the European electricity market integration by connecting at physical level the transmission grids of Elia and Creos.

What is the First Phase of the project IC BeDeLux ?

  • starts with the commissioning of the phase shifter transformer (PST)
  • Elia and CREOS will reuse existing infrastructures to create the new interconnection

This approach was chosen as it allows with a very short lead time a significant increase of the Luxembourgish security of supply. The first phase the interconnection is made of a single line which is not N-1 secured.

What is the current connection between the Belgium, Luxembourg and German market ?

Creos is part of the German bidding zone. There is no market border defined between the Belgium and German bidding zone.

What will be the connection between the Belgium, Luxembourg and German market after completion of the First Phase ?

The market situation for the three concerned TSOs (Amprion, Creos and Elia) will not change.

At the physical level, there will be an interconnector (BE-LU interconnection) between the countries Belgium and Luxembourg with the interconnection point located at the PST situated in Schifflange.

Will there be a new bidding zone in Luxembourg ?

The trial phase did not show a significant improvement of the technical parameters, which would justify the launch of a new study needed for the introduction of the bidding zone border. Hence, there will be no commercialisation of the interconnector. The current bidding zones will not be affected.

How will the DA capacity be calculated ?

Regarding the DA capacity methodology which will be applied on the BE-LU interconnection, Elia and Creos make reference to the CWE flow-based MC solution. Consequently, the available capacity will be calculated according to the flow-based calculation methodology that takes into account that electricity can flow via different paths and optimizes the available capacity in highly meshed grids. The cross-border capacity is therefore calculated in a coordinated manner by the TSOs.

What is the current status of the project ?

Due to the fact that the impact assessment (IA) simulations indicate that in the majority of the cases the Creos PST would not be considered in the day-ahead allocation due to the limitation of the initial flow-based domain. Given the complexity to commercialize the new Creos PST in the day-ahead timeframe of which the feasibility has not been confirmed yet by all involved parties, the limited cases in which this complex process will lead to an actual offering of the Creos PST in day-ahead timeframe. Given the fact that the current IA simulations indicated that this offering would only result in a neutral effect on the CWE welfare, the project decided to postpone the commercialization of the new Creos PST. Four quarterly monitoring reports of the technical trial phase have been shared with all CWE NRAs. The aim of technical reports is to assess the approved operational principles based on the collected data. Based on the results of the trial phase, projects partners concluded that these results do not allow significant adaptation of the technical parameters and as such not justifying the launch of a new SPAIC study.