Czech, German grids reach accord on renewable wind power flows

PRAGUE Thu Jan 9, 2014 9:18am EST

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PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech and German grid operators have agreed on a plan to build transformers to guard against excess flows of wind-produced electricity that can knock out transmission systems, the Czech grid operator said on Thursday.

The decision to build two so-called phase-shifting transformers in the towns of Hradec and Rohrsdorf by the end of 2016 is a bid to control cross-border electricity flows from renewables generated in northern Germany.

"The installation of the phase shifters in both substations will significantly improve control of unplanned flows on the interconnector," CEPS said in a statement.

Large electricity flows produced by wind farms in Germany's sparsely populated north can overload transmission lines, or cause blackouts or losses when operators are forced by such surges to shut down power plants.

These so-called loop flows are most acute in the autumn and early winter when German wind power generation peaks. Phase shifters only deflect the flows so regional cooperation is needed to solve the problem.

The Czech and German grid operators also agreed on the need for wider regional cooperation and said they would eventually look to build transformers along the Polish border, CEPS said.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn, editing by David Evans)

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