Building common rules for power systems in the Mediterranean Region

Mr. Juan Francisco Alonso, (REE, Spain) former Chairman of Med-TSO Technical Committee “Regulation and Institutions”

One of Med-TSO’s ambitious goal in the frame of the Mediterranean Project 2 is to build a set of common rules for all TSOs in the Mediterranean region. In collaboration with its 21 member TSOs in 19 countries throughout the region, the Association has identified 14 themes that will form the basis of the guidelines to harmonise power systems across all member countries that will be published within 2020. A first deliverable has been already finalized and published by the association, with the subject “A Proposal of Common Rules about the provision of system services: Mediterranean Grid Code chapter

We spoke with Mr. Juan Francisco Alonso, former Chairman of Med-TSO Technical Committee “Regulation and Institutions” and Mr. Andrés L. Sainz, REE – Spain, Technical Secretary of the same committee, about the importance and impact of their work on Mediterranean Project 2. Exponential benefits to systems and citizens The work of this Committee began with the identification of the potential issues that could be included in the Mediterranean Grid Code, the first step toward developing a harmonised set of common rules to govern the power systems throughout the whole Mediterranean region. “The benefits of harmonised rules are exponential, in terms of optimising interaction, improving system services, and ending monopolies, all of which provides a distinct advantage for systems and citizens throughout the whole region.” – said Mr. Alonso. Working together, learning from each other The methodology used to develop the set of common rules has been highly collaborative. The Med-TSO technical committee is collaborating with TSOs in all member countries, as well as with MEDREG, the association of regulators in the region and with ENTSO-E, the network of European energy transmission system operators. “Multilateral agreements are already in place – like that of ENTSO-E which has established a set of common rules on governance for EU Member States. Spain and Morocco are already interconnected and operate the link according to common agreement.” – Mr Sainz told us. Regulation differs vastly among power systems in the different countries of the region. The technical committee has also developed a minimum set of data from each national power system in order to increase transparency in the region: to this aim, the second deliverable finalized in the frame of the Mediterranean Project 2, actually called “Transparency: Public information harmonization”, has been published on the MED-TSO website. “We started with knowing the situation in each country and making proposals, prioritising issues that emerged in different countries, and created a task force to develop the work and transfer the experience among member TSOs – which is the main added value.” Said Mr. Alonso. To streamline the development of the common rules, Med-TSO is also collaborating with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) as one of the “animators” of the REM (Regional Electricity Market) Platform, following its roadmap to provide results of its work and planning studies. Leading Mediterranean transformation The benefits of collaboration to create more connected power systems are far reaching. Security, economy and efficiency are key priorities for TSOs within the Mediterranean region. What’s more, the integration of renewables is top of the agenda for national governments. By creating unity and implementing a common regulation, Mediterranean TSOs could be prepared in order to integrate the maximum share of renewables in the grid.