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Develop the DSO partnership

Continued TSO – DSO cooperation

ENTSO-E and the four DSO associations E.DSO, CEDEC, Geode and Eurelectric have participated in the TSO – DSO platform chaired by the European Commission since 2015. Under that Platform, a TSO – DSO Network Code/Guideline Implementation Group was set up in September 2018 to discuss issues of interest to DSOs related to the implementation of network codes.

In addition, ENTSO-E and the DSOs associations signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding in October 2018. The first priority is to achieve a common vision on active system management in order to integrate all distributed resources and new service providers in the electricity system and market, to ensure system security and to create value for the customer. Further collaboration areas will be discussed in 2019, considering the final Clean Energy Package.

Joint TSO – DSO work on active system management

A key area for TSO – DSO cooperation is active system management and the coordinated use of distributed flexibility. Storage, distributed generation and customer participation through demand-side response have the potential to generate new services for the grid and the system. These are known as distributed flexibilities, and they are key to efficiently managing the future electrical system and developing new market products.

Starting in 2017, and throughout 2018, ENTSO-E and the four DSO associations have elaborated a joint report on active system management, released in early 2019. The joint report focuses on active power management for congestion management in both distribution and transmission grids and for balancing services. Other active system management solutions, as well as reactive power management, are not covered in the report and may be the focus of further joint TSO – DSO work.

In addition to workshops with TSOs and DSOs experts, ENTSO-E, together with CEDEC, EDSO, Eurelectric and GEODE, have held two workshops with stakeholders in March and October 2018. The objective was to share the progress of the work and collect stakeholders’ views on the main key points. It was not a formal consultation process, but rather a voluntary cooperation to discuss key questions that could lead to recommendations.

Key dates & documents

23 Oct 2018

DSO associations and ENTSO-E sign new MoU Report “An integrated approach to Active System Management”

The report “An integrated approach to Active System Management”, which focuses on TSO – DSO coordination in congestion management and balancing, aims to ­develop a vision for active system management, centred around TSO – DSO coordination in accessing distributed ­flexibilities, and related processes. It proposes several ­recommendations, including:

  • TSOs and DSOs should pursue an integrated system approach when developing new solutions and should avoid any isolated solution. TSOs’ and DSOs’ roles and responsibilities as system operators and as neutral market facilitators should be recognised. An efficient level playing field for market parties is required to foster new services and value flexibility services; Neutral market facilitators will continue to ensure non-discrimination towards market parties.
  • To foster competition and new services in the European electricity market, the long-term view of system operators is that congestions should be solved through a market-based allocation of flexibility services (voluntary or mandatory bidding, possibly in combination with cost-based regulation) where technically feasible and cost-efficient, rather than compulsory limitation procedures. The design should be developed with the stakeholders in a step-wise and pragmatic manner.

Based on these commitments, the report aims at defining a European frame for some key aspects of active system management:

  • The congestion management processes and its main steps;
  • The definition of flexibility products, with a focus on defining need and qualification process;
  • The market place to trade flexibility products, and the possible models for TSO – DSO coordination;
  • Some insights on the possible design of platforms to materialize these models.

TSO – DSO interface projects mapping

Complementary to this bottom-up vision, ENTSO-E internally developed an analysis of the main projects (national, regional or European) linked to the TSO – DSO interface, to illustrate the vision elaborated in the Active System Management report. This analysis, although not exhaustive, includes a representative sample of projects and provides some concrete examples of real-life development. It also contributes to materialising the concept of digital platforms, and the different forms it can take.


About this annual report

ENTSO-E’s Annual Report is a legally mandated deliverable, submitted to ACER for opinion. In line with ENTSO-E’s key activity areas, it is structured as follows:

1 and 2. Internal Energy Market: this part is divided into activities related to
i) network codes and ii) the future power system;

3. Develop a new ICT approach and capability, including cyber-security;

4. Develop the DSO partnership;

5. Coordinate and facilitate regional developments;

6. Develop transparency and trust, including stakeholder engagement activities.

The resources used to deliver these objectives are detailed in Annex 1.

The activities described in this report were delivered thanks to the collective work of ENTSO-E’s 43 member TSOs and ENTSO-E’s Secretariat based in Brussels.