Four Slovenian and Croatian transmission and distribution system operators (TSOs and DSOs) are implementing the SINCRO.GRID project aimed to secure regional electricity supply.
The SINCRO.GRID project implements an innovative cross-border approach with the aim to solve short-term operational security issues impacting Slovenia, Croatia and the whole South-Eastern Europe (SEE) region.
A key aspect of the SINCRO.GRID project lies in the synergy brought by the simultaneous deployment of a portfolio of innovative yet mature technology-based solutions.
The project integrates new active elements in the transmission and distribution grids managed via a virtual cross-border control centre (VCBCC) which relies on the deployment of compensation devices, advanced dynamic thermal rating (DTR) systems in both the Slovenian and Croatian transmission grids as well as electricity storage systems and distributed renewable generation with the ability to accumulate primary energy such as small hydropower plants (SHPPs) and biogas plants.
The VCBCC consists of dedicated IT infrastructure and software which will be used by system operators for the efficient and coordinated management of renewable energy sources (RES). It will be distributed among the existing control systems of TSOs and DSOs.
The deployed systems will address cross-border level overvoltage and voltage instability issues within the regional transmission grid and provide secondary regulation. They are tailored to operate under alpine weather conditions and rough terrain.
Lowering costs while improving transmission and distribution security
The SINCO.GRID benefits include the reduction of greenhouse gasses emissions, lowering costs of purchasing capacities for secondary reserve and avoiding generation capacity investment as well as the reduction of equipment breakdowns and electricity technical losses. Due to the longer lifespan of equipment, the amortization value will be decreased.
Other positive externalities include macro-regional security of electricity supply, solidarity with neighbouring countries such as Hungary, Austria and Italy which will directly benefit from the improved security of transmission and distribution grid operation in Slovenia and Croatia. In particular, Bosnia and Herzegovina will draw directly upon the available sources to activate power reserves in the Slovenia-Croatia-Bosnia control block more efficiently. This is highly beneficial as unpredictable production from RES makes it more difficult to ensure a safe and reliable operation of interconnected electric power systems.
The partners on the SINCRO.GRID project are the Slovenian companies ELES (TSO) and SODO (DSO) and the Croatian companies HOPS (TSO) and HEP (DSO). The companies have a long history of cooperation both at national and cross-border levels and with this project they intend to further strengthen their cooperation to contribute to achieving the European Union (EU) targets for a sustainable, efficient and secure energy system.
The SINCRO.GRID project successfully applied for the list of projects of common interest (PCI) in 2015 as the best-evaluated project in the EU in the smart grids field. The total value of the project is EUR 88 million, out of which the European Commission provides EUR 40 million.