Elia installs metering tools on its border lines to optimise import capacities


Elia has worked with the University of Liège and Ampacimon for several years on a technology that enhances the transmission of energy over high-voltage lines under specific weather conditions (i.e. when it is windy and cold). Elia is the first transmission system operator to use this technology on international lines.

The decision to install this device on the southern and northern borders is part of the various initiatives taken by Elia to deal with the risk of power shortages announced this winter. The small device will be placed on the eight border lines, boosting physical flows by 10 to 15% in the event of low temperatures, according to the force and speed of the wind as well as other specific conditions.

Beside the weather conditions, there are additional conditions that must always be verified and confirmed every day when using this innovative technology:

  • The allocation of transmission capacities to the market distributes the physical flows between the northern and southern borders according to the source of the imported energy.
  • The capacity to transmit energy to borders is not solely Elia’s responsibility; neighbouring system operators must also be taken into account.
  • As well as cross-border lines, we also need to consider other infrastructures, each of which has its own limit.
  • International capacities for the day-ahead market are recorded two days before the actual transmission and estimates are still very uncertain.
  • This optimisation applies to the intraday market where capacities are reviewed periodically (15 minutes). As such, this is the market for which Elia could boost its import capacities by taking account of the information received via this technology.

The optimisation of transmission capacities is positive step but we must first guarantee that the market can find the energy to import beyond our borders.