Outage Planning Coordination (OPC) process is one of core RSC services, performed on pan-European level, with a goal to establish a common medium- and long-term outage planning process based on predefined standards. The process of outage planning of the elements of the European interconnected electricity network plays an important role in the operational management of that network.
In order to keep the network in secure operating condition to guarantee a suitable level of security and market access, it is necessary to regularly carry out maintenance work which requires outages of assets. Furthermore, outages are also indispensable to carrying out reinforcement work in substations or to install new network elements.
The outages of tie-lines or network elements in the vicinity of tie-lines directly impact cross-border capacity values and possibly reduce the import and export potential between connected areas as well as the potential of mutual support, and consequently have to be prepared carefully in order to prevent lowering the network security in those areas. On the other hand, the outages of tie-lines may affect the security of areas that are in close “electrical” vicinity of the outage.
Together, TSOs determine the most suitable dates of outages and tests for the maintenance or the reinforcement of the following network assets: tie-lines, substations, other internal transmission system elements influencing the operation of neighbouring systems. TSOs also take into account and exchange information about generation unit outages and tests; if necessary, TSOs can use national rules to request for modification of generator unit’s outage planning.
All this information is stored in a common database of the planned outages, with a coordinated procedure of ensuring the quality of the OPC input data. Based on these data, Outage Planning Incompatibilities (OPI) assessments are performed by RSCs for each particular region, taking into account planned topology of transmission network within weekly and yearly OPC process.
SCC is involved in performing OPC services for European TSOs with other RSCs on a rotational basis, based on official methodology.