“We have to improve data sharing between TSOs and DSOs.” A view by Rui Pestana of REN, the Portuguese TSO


Member of EU-SysFlex’s Advisory Board, Rui Pestana of Redes Energéticas Nacionais discusses challenges for transmission system operators as they integrate increased shares of renewables into the electricity grid.

What are the threats for TSOs as the share of renewables increases in electricity production and consumption?

I believe there are more opportunities than threats. Because as engineers, we like challenges. But I believe that it is the lack of inertia, it is going to be the frequency behavior of the grid and also the voltage dips that will be more important.

In what sense is it a challenge for TSOs?

It is a challenge for us because we have the responsibility for the system security. With the lack of inertia and the lack of voltage support, it will be a challenge. But we are of course committed to the responsibility.

What is the maximum share of renewables in the system now and what share do you expect in the future?

In Portugal, just for wind, we are already above 100 %, we are at 109 %. But if you add hydro, it is more than that. That is because we are connected to continental Europe and we share the frequency.

We are exporting and not just for an instant. For four consecutive days in 2016, wind and hydro were above the load.

How can TSOs and DSOs improve coordination as the share of renewables increases?

First, we have to share data. We need the observability of the generation downstream, and you have to share that information both ways. In that way, we can do the operational planning for the day-ahead more securely.

We are improving the data sharing, but of course it is an issue with the model of the networks. But we are working in that direction.


Image source: EU-SysFlex

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