ALEGrO, the first interconnector between Belgium and Germany, celebrates its first anniversary with good results

The first electricity interconnector between Belgium and Germany was commissioned a year ago (18 November 2020) by system operators Elia and Amprion. ALEGrO posted good results after a year of operation with 93% of availability even in the first year and exchanges totalling 4.5 TWh. It has made it possible to balance prices between markets and boost societal welfare. It is also an essential link in the construction of an integrated European electricity grid, facilitating the integration of renewable energies and improving security of supply in both countries.

Almost equivalent exchanges in both directions

Over the past 12 months, the HVDC cable has been available over 93% of the time for imports and exports, proving its reliability. During this first year, there was equivalent electricity circulation in both directions: 46% of the time Belgium-Germany and 54% of the time Germany-Belgium. All in all, 4.5 TWh of electricity was exchanged thanks to the interconnector. On average, 700 MW of electricity was exchanged between the two countries when there was a price difference.

The ALEGrO interconnector

The interconnector connects the Elia and Amprion high-voltage grids with a maximum transmission capacity of 1,000 MW. It delivers multiple benefits: it increases security of supply for both countries, it facilitates the energy transition by allowing better integration of renewable energies, it contributes to price convergence and it strengthens the economic attractiveness of the connected regions. Capacity for commercial operation was released in stages. The first capacity was made available to the market via the day-ahead allocation mechanism on 18 November, followed by intraday capacity on 8 December and finally by long-term capacity in early 2021.

We are delighted to celebrate this first anniversary with good interconnection results. The interconnector helps facilitate the transition to a sustainable and affordable electricity system. It has helped improve system balance and increases security of supply. It offers new possibilities to Belgium and helps support economic activity and well-being. ALEGrO has enabled us to further strengthen our collaboration within the European market and to take an important step forward in developing a common energy future for Belgium and Germany. It complements existing electrical links between our immediate neighbours and Belgium.

Markus Berger, Chief Infrastructure Officer, Elia Group

ALEGrO has been a pioneering project as it is the first HVDC link operated under the Flow Based Market Coupling Approach within the highly meshed transmission grid of Central Europe. The past year has proved a large benefit for the European Market and allowed Amprion to gather extensive experience in System and Market Operation with embedded HVDC links. Amprion is happy having significantly contributed to Market and System Integration together with the partner Elia.

Dr. Hendrik Neumann, Chief Technical Officer, Amprion