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Germany, Poland Sign Deal to Boost Grid Security, Power Trade

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Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Power grid operators in Germany and Poland signed an agreement to curb unplanned electricity flows that threaten network stability and free commercial capacity on the cables linking both countries.

PSE Operator SA and 50Hertz Transmission GmbH will first use a “virtual transformer” before building physical transformers on the two cables linking the countries, the Polish grid manager said in an e-mailed statement today.

“Building transformers will allow for more efficient use of the Polish grid, while increasing security of the power system in the region and increasing the capacity to absorb power from German wind farms,” Henryk Majchrzak, chief executive officer of PSE Operator, said in the statement.

Germany relies on Polish and Czech grids to ship record electricity output from wind turbines in the country’s north to industrial users in the south. Flows via Poland intensified since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2011 to close the country’s oldest nuclear plants after the reactor meltdowns in Fukushima, Japan. Poland’s grid says the transformers will protect power lines from overload at the same time as tripling electricity export capacity.

The cost of the virtual transformer will be covered by the German operator. The physical transformer on the power cable linking Mikulowa and Hegenwerder will be installed by PSE Operator by Nov. 30, 2015, while 50Hertz will install the device on Krajnik-Vierraden link by Oct. 31, 2016, according to the statement.

Transformers will allow Germany to boost exports by 500 megawatts Poland to increase shipments abroad by 1,500 megawatts, Majchrzak, said Dec. 14.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Marek Strzelecki in Warsaw at mstrzelecki1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net