Plugging Turkey into the EU electricity grid
In 1975, Turkey raised the issue of synchronising its power network with Europe’s electricity grid, which allows electrical current to flow easily from country to country. In 2000, after Turkey had received support to join the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E, previously UCTE), proposals were made on preparing the technical conditions to synchronise the grids. Removing these restrictions meant commercial and physical electricity exchanges could take place between Turkey and EU member states. Synchronisation also increased the quality and security of Turkey’s electricity supply.
The project’s aims and core activities
The objective of the project was to assist the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in preparing the Turkish power grid for future parallel operations with ENTSO-E by addressing problems concerning power and frequency control, steady state, and transient stability.
The project resulted in the further development of the control systems model being used in Turkish power plants. Before this could be achieved, appropriate test procedures and methodologies for assessing the Turkish power system were devised. Tests were then carried out on the master controller, turbine governors, generator excitation system, automatic voltage regulator, and power system stabiliser at individual plants. The black start capability and island mode of operation were also examined.
The project improved the parallel trial interconnection of the Turkish power grid with the ENTSO-E’s continental grid, thus reducing the cost of investments and back-up measures. The future supply of electricity is now more secure through the compatibility of the Turkish grid with the neighbouring Bulgarian and Greek grids, and non-commercial energy exchanges between the three systems, in all directions, have already taken place.