The European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) carries out an annual overview of its members’ electricity transmission prices. The aim is to improve transparency in pricing.

”Price comparison is difficult, as each country’s main grid has its own kind of pricing structure and history, and these all affect the prices. The study contains more detailed reasons for differences in price. Each transmission system operator appoints persons responsible to compile pricing data that can be compared in the study. The information is compiled and published,” explains Fingrid’s Business Development Manager Anssi Nevalainen.

Top spot in ENTSO-E’s pricing comparison

Fingrid has long been successful in pricing comparison. Finland’s situation is largely comparable to other EU and EEA countries whose transmission system operators perform the same tasks as Fingrid.

”We have been among the most affordable TSOs in many price comparisons. Our aim is to be in the top three, and we will probably continue to be among the very best. We have received thanks for our sensible and well-timed investments and maintenance. We have been determined to keep costs under control, and develop operations with our expert partners,” says Nevalainen.

He emphasises that Fingrid’s prices have not been dragged down for political reasons and that they genuinely cover all costs.

”Large companies that make investment decisions follow ENTSO-E’s study statistics. For example, data centres and industry use lots of electricity, so the price of electricity plays a role in determining where they are located. The entire national economy also benefits from 
affordable prices,” Nevalainen adds.

Ranked within the top four for overall efficiency in a benchmarking study by e3Grid

European energy regulators have commissioned the e3Grid study every four years. This year, the name of the study will be changed to CEER TCB18.

”The Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) collects the comparative data together and has a study carried out by a consultant. Around 20 European transmission system operators participated in the study. The study examines the efficiency and costs of investments over a period of decades. In the last study, we were among four transmission system operators named as especially good in overall efficiency. By participating in the study, we learnt from other transmission system operators, and the study helps us to display our efficiency,” says Nevalainen.

ITOMS success tells of maintenance efficiency

The International Transmission Operations & Maintenance Study (ITOMS) assesses the efficiency of transmission system operators’ maintenance. 28 transmission system operators participated in the comparative study, which they have commissioned every two years. The data submitted by each company is standardised before comparison wherever possible.

”After the study data becomes clear, we hold a final meeting where the most successful companies explain their successful working methods. This helps the others to learn and develop their own operations.”

Fingrid has participated in the study since 1996 and has always ranked among the best. In the last study, Finland was the only company to receive honourable mention as Top Performer in both substation and transmission line maintenance.

”Our operations are closely monitored internationally, and we held five presentations on our innovations in the final meeting,” explains Maintenance Manager Jari Helander.

Effective practices behind success

The ITOMS study encompasses 20 areas, and Fingrid was named as a Top Performer in 11 of these.

”This is an exceptionally good result. We aren’t the best in all of the areas, and we will learn more about these from others. I like to call ITOMS the PISA study for transmission system operators,” laughs Helander.

Many reasons for Fingrid’s success

”We have long used the Elvis asset management data system, which has over 20 years of information on component faults, disturbances, maintenance, costs, and other things. The system helps to conveniently ascertain a sensible interval between maintenance. In addition, we also have a well-functioning client-supplier model wherein our expert personnel make the right agreements with skilled employees. Our own device specialists ensure that our asset management is specialist,” says Helander.

In the future, Fingrid will particularly invest in digital tools with which to make e.g., the monitoring and device maintenance at unmanned substations more efficient.

”We have an open testing culture which helps us to face challenges,” explains Helander. •