Estonia’s Elering provides frequency response for stability of Finnish grid

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Elering, Estonia’s transmission system operator (TSO), has partnered with Finland-based TSO, Fingrid, to provide frequency response services for the stability of the Finnish grid.

The two TSOs are piloting the participation of Estonian energy providers in the Automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR), which allows the management of frequency in line with changes in energy demand. Estonian companies, including Eesti Energia, in the aFRR can participate in the Finnish reserve market by providing Fingrid an automatic frequency restoration reserve service.

Eesti Energia will provide electricity from its Narva Power Plants in Estonia to meet changes in demand in Finland via energy transmission infrastructure operated by Elering and Fingrid. The changes in energy demand will be calculated every ten seconds. To meet the rapid changes in energy demand, reserves from Eesti Energia will be automated to allow the provision of electricity in minutes without human intervention.

Taavi Veskimägi, Chairman of the Management Board of Elering, said: “The pilot project launched in August offers valuable experience and knowledge for both system operators and market participants in order to be able to cope with ensuring the security of supply in the power system in a situation where the Baltic countries have joined the frequency area of Continental Europe.”

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The pilot will enable Elering and Fingrid to better understand the management of flexible energy and reserves for the stability of integrated grids. Knowledge gained from the pilot will be used by the TSOs as they join and use the European Platform for the International Coordination of Automated Frequency Restoration and Stable System Operation (PICASSO), for energy exchange by the 30 TSOs across Europe to ensure grid resilience. PICASSO will also enable the integration of Baltic countries with Continental Europe’s power system by 2025.

Veskimägi, added: “The importance of automatically initiated reserves is also increasing due to the addition of capacity with non-dispatchable production cycles into the system, above all solar and wind power.”

According to Anja Langer Jacquin, the CCO of technology firm depsys, western Europe will connect 70% of renewable energy resources with the grid in the coming years, and as such grid operators will need to digitise to manage associated challenges.

Jukka Ruusunen, the CEO of Fingrid, reiterated: “The aFRR-market has been in use for several years in the Nordic area, and the volumes traded are growing continuously. Fingrid’s goal is to utilize cross-border trading on different balancing markets. Procurement of aFRR-capacity from Estonia increases the supply on Fingrid’s daily market and thus increases the overall efficiency of the market. This is also a good example of how HVDC-interconnections can be used to support system operations.”

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