We provide services in the scope of transmission of electricity and the provision of the power system, while meeting the required criteria for the safe operation of the National Power System (NPS). As the transmission system operator (TSO), our company is expected to take effective actions to ensure the required quality and security of electricity supply and economic operation of the system. Our activities as an operator are determined by legal regulations for the power sector, security of electricity supply and technical development. Consequently, we are an enterprise of considerable importance to the public order and safety, and of particular significance to the Polish economy. Our organisation is also a member of the European association of operators (ENTSO-E).
PSE AND THE ENVIRONMENTPSE as a transmission system operator
Key figures(as of the end of 2022)
As the only power transmission system operator in Poland, we manage a territorially extensive power system. Since 2021, we have also acted as an energy market information operator.
PSE is the transmission system operator (TSO) in Poland.
According to provisions of the Energy Law, only one power TSO is designated in the territory of the Republic of Poland. PSE has been designated by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) to perform this function until December 31, 2030.
PSE as a transmission system operator
The Polish power system is a part of the electricity system of Europe. The stability of this system is maintained by the actions of all power transmission system operators. From the National Power Dispatch Centre we manage the operation of the power system, including the operation of the transmission grid and the 110 kV coordinated network. We forecast and calculate data on power system operation, including data related to safe and uninterrupted operation over a variety of time horizons.
The tasks carried out by PSE as the transmission system operator come down to five basic categories:
- Quality and ongoing security of electricity supply.
- Sufficiency of the national transmission grid.
- Operation of the national central commercial balancing mechanism.
- International cooperation as part of interconnected electricity systems and a single European electricity market.
- Acting as the energy market information operator.
Tasks in the scope of ongoing security of supplies
Legal regulations applicable to the transmission system operator define the technical standards for the operation of the transmission system and the technical resources that the operator should have at their disposal to meet the requirements in this regard. Tasks performed by PSE in this area:
- Balancing (of the electricity generation against the actual demand)
Balancing applies to both very short periods (measured in seconds) and very long periods (expressed in hours), and is carried out through the use of power reserves maintained specifically for this purpose. The TSO is required to maintain specific amounts of reserves measured in seconds, minutes and hours. The first two forms of the reserves are obtained by concluding appropriate contracts with generating entities for the so-called system control services – this action is preceded by a tender procedure. The source of the hourly reserve is the balancing market (commercial offers).
- Ensuring compliance with the grid operation security criteria
As the TSO, we are obligated to plan the operation of the grid and the distribution of generation at its individual nodes in such a way so that a critical disturbance does not cause a system failure and limitation of electricity supply to consumers. To this end, we develop coordination plans with time horizons ranging from three years to a single day. The plans include both maintenance schedules for grid elements and overhaul schedules for generating units. As part of the planning process, we identify constraints on the operation of generating units at the individual grid nodes. We manage these constraints by using the balancing market mechanism or by entering into appropriate agreements with generating entities.
- Application of preventive and restorative automatic control systems, and development of NPS defense and restoration plans
The TSO also prepares measures to prevent the occurrence of conditions that threaten the stability of the NPS operation, including in particular the propagation of failures in the transmission system. For this purpose, we use various types of system-related automatic controls that enable quick changes in the grid operation or production level of generating units, plans for shutting down consumers or limiting supply and consumption of electricity, e.g. based on power supply levels transmitted through radio communication. In the event of a transmission system failure, we have restoration scenarios in place, even anticipating the need to restore the entire national system. To enable these scenarios, the system operator contracts generating entities capable of starting up without external power supply (system service).
Tasks regarding the adequacy (sufficiency) of the national transmission grid
As a TSO, we are responsible for the expansion and maintenance of the national transmission grid and its interconnection with the systems of the neighbouring countries. To ensure grid sufficiency, our company performs the following tasks:
- Transmission grid expansion planning, taking into account the anticipated changes in the size and geographic distribution of the domestic demand, locations of new generating sources, and grid expansion plans of the neighbouring country operators and distribution system operators. The implementation of this task is based, among other things, on two investment projects implemented by the Central Investment Unit:
- Construction of Poland-Lithuania HVDC cable connection,
- Construction of a north-south HVDC overhead connection.
Implementation of the projects is aimed at enabling transmission of the electricity generated by onshore and offshore wind sources from the north of the country to industries located in southern Poland.
- Maintaining grid equipment condition to ensure high availability.
Tasks in the scope of operation of the national central commercial balancing mechanism
The specific nature of electricity as a product requires the existence of a central balancing mechanism and an entity responsible for the balancing. The balancing mechanism is to provide real-time commercial balancing of electricity market participants, and settlement of electricity used for balancing. In Poland, this role is fulfilled by the balancing market mechanism in which the current balancing of electricity market participants is carried out based on offers submitted by entities actively participating in the market. The balancing market mechanism very much affects other segments of the electricity market, as well as decisions on how to use generating resources.
The rules of the balancing market should ensure:
- equal treatment of all participants,
- transparency of settlement price determination process,
- the possibility of consumer participation (consumption reduction offers),
- creating price signals that promote efficiency of operation of the entire sector.
Tasks in the scope of international cooperation
We are a member of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, which plays an important role in building a common electricity market. It has been operating since 2009, when it took over the tasks of the inter-operator organisations UCTE, NORDEL and ETSO. The core business of the organisation is to undertake activities for the reliable operation and development of interconnected power systems, while ensuring security of electricity supply within the common EU electricity market. ENTSO-E plays an important role in the implementation of the EU's third and fourth energy package, taking responsibility for the development of a number of documents – in particular grid codes containing provisions necessary for the development of a single EU electricity market.
ENTSO-E consists of 39 transmission system operators from 35 countries. The observer members have been: since April 2022, Ukrainian operator Ukrenergo and Turkish operator TEIAS, with which the membership agreement was renewed in December 2022.
Figure: ENTSO-E member states
In-house indicator Almost 100 representatives of PSE are involved in the work of ENTSO-E, and actively participate in all important tasks at various levels of the organisation.
Our employees are involved, among others, in the process of preparation and implementation of European grid codes functioning as regulations and guidelines of the European Commission. Grid codes and guidelines are regulatory tools for the implementation of a single EU electricity market – they contain common rules for the operation and management of power systems, and are designed to eliminate technical barriers to further market integration.
Grid codes are legislative acts. As EU regulations, they are effective as part of the legal order immediately upon their entry into force. This involves a number of responsibilities for member states which must adapt existing regulations to the standards arising from these legal acts. Our company actively participates in this work. Moreover, the TSO is obligated to adapt any regulations enabling the fulfillment of the tasks the TSO is responsible for (e.g. Transmission Grid Code) to the provisions of the grid codes.
The grid codes leave the possibility for member states to regulate certain areas covered by the scope of the codes as part of the synchronous areas or capacity calculation regions in order to take into account the specificities of a given area or capacity calculation region. For this reason, international cooperation between operators from a given area or region is necessary to develop the so-called TCMs (Terms, Conditions and Methodologies). These are documents prepared by the TSOs from the capacity calculation areas or regions. PSE is actively involved in the development of TCM. The documents prepared are approved by the regulators from the respective capacity calculation areas or regions. In Poland, the regulator is the President of the Energy Regulatory Office. The documents are also approved by the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).