The Policy Paper was prepared by Samson Yemane Hadush and Leonardo Meeus
The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and the Florence School of Regulation published a Policy Paper that shows how the increasing penetration of intermittent generation and distributed energy resources has increased the need for cooperation between distribution system operators (DSOs) and transmission system operators (TSOs).
The objective of the Paper on ‘DSO-TSO cooperation issues and solutions for distribution grid congestion management’ is twofold. First, it presents an overview of the issues between DSOs and TSOs by reviewing congestion management approaches in different system states. Second, it discusses possible solutions to serve as inspiration for future DSO-TSO cooperation.
The Report highlights that increasing penetration of intermittent generation and distributed energy resources has led to two important advances in power grid operation. One is that TSOs have started procuring flexibility services for system balancing not only from their neighbouring transmission grids but also from distribution grids. In these conditions, “conflicts might arise since the same flexibility resources could also be potentially used for congestion management and voltage control by both, DSOs and TSOs”.
The second advancement is that DSOs have started to actively manage congestion in their grids, “moving away from the conventional fit and forget approach”. In response to this, some DSOs have introduced smarter ways to connect and release more distributed generation, while others have started considering procurement of flexibility services to redispatch the system at the distribution level.
The authors of the Paper find that these advancements, together with the future approval of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ Package – which presents provisions that will enable DSOs to procure flexibility services – have increased the need to develop further the cooperation between DSOs and TSOs.