Statnett and society

Statnett is responsible for ensuring a stable and secure supply of electricity. Through proper maintenance, optimal contingency and significant investments in sufficient grid capacity, Statnett secures a stable supply of electricity and enables the development of renewable energy. In this way, Statnett contributes to value creation for customers and society in general and to the realisation of Norway’s climate objectives.

Security of supply

In 2011, Statnett invested a total of NOK 2 384 million in grid developments. Statnett's main grid and station investments are described in more detail in the Board of Directors' report and on Statnett’s web site.

Statnett operates on the principle that there should normally be two alternatives for power supply into an area. This is referred to as N-1. Statnett measures unsatisfactory security of supply by registering periods with only one barrier against power outages in the main grid. The measurements show which areas are vulnerable and therefore which areas should be prioritised in future grid developments.

Security of supply Unit 2011 2010 2009
Outages Statnett plants* Number 3 1 0
Frequency deviation** Minutes 12 216 11 286 8 231
Periods of unsatisfactory security of supply (N-0)*** Hours 2 820 4 368 Not measured

 

* Incidents of Energy Not Supplied (ENS) more than 2 hours or > 1000 MWh as a result of a fault in Statnett's facilities

** Standardised measuring conducted by Svenska Kraftnät, measured by sampling frequency per minute

*** Registered number of N-0 hours (period where there is only one barrier against power outages)

Preparedness

A key element of securing a stable supply of electricity is sound preparedness measures. This involves preventing and handling extraordinary incidents. Stormy weather represents a particular challenge, but accidents, technical faults and deliberate damage to property will also affect security of supply.

Statnett will ensure that potential incidents are handled in the best possible manner, both in terms of operation and projects. To meet this objective, three important measures have been implemented. A safety and preparedness policy has been established which stipulates responsibilities and guidelines on how to establish efficient preparedness. The company has established a preparedness section which has the technical responsibility for the company's preparedness operations and ensures efficient preparedness routines and guidelines in Statnett. Furthermore, Statnett has strengthened the operative preparedness in the individual units by hiring more employees and entering into supplier contracts.

Statnett has a statutory duty to provide transport preparedness for the Norwegian power supply. Statnett’s wholly owned subsidiary Statnett Transport AS is required to ensure competitive implementation of this duty.

Distribution of value created

Statnett's operations generate value creation both directly and indirectly. The direct value creation is presented in the company's accounts and is allocated to the owner, authorities, employees and lenders.

Valule creation distribution   Unit 2011 2010 2009
Employees - wages and social benefits* NOK million 555 461 492
National and municipal taxes and fees** NOK million 592 1079 21
Lenders - interest NOK million 374 343 407
Owner - dividend*** NOK million 130 315 132
Company - Retained equity NOK million 649 2010 -967

 

* Net wage costs excluding employer's contribution

** Tax charge, property tax and employer's contribution

*** Proposed dividend 2011

Indirectly, value creation is ensured through, for instance, the activities Statnett generates in other companies in the form of investments in infrastructure and purchase of goods and services. In 2011, investments of NOK 2 384 million were made and goods and services were purchased totalling NOK 814 million to support the company's operations.

Procurement

Statnett sets requirements for safeguarding of CSR in our procurement activities. These requirements are laid down in process descriptions and procurement policy, as well as in the contracts. Furthermore, Statnett has established separate ethical guidelines for procurement both for Statnetts organisation and the company’s suppliers.

All company purchases must comply with the procurement policy. The central procurement unit is responsible for major purchases. In order to ensure an optimal procurement practice, Statnett employs Sellicha as part of its step 1 qualification system. This also ensures that the company's CSR is fulfilled. In addition, a step 2 qualification system has been adopted for selected products.

To promote healthy competition with regard to our acquisitions, Statnett works actively to ensure that international, national and local suppliers gain a competitive position. As part of this effort, Statnett participated in a cooperation forum in the north of Norway in 2011 to promote exchange of information with local business and industry.

The responsibilities inherent in the company’s role as a Norwegian Eco-Lighthouse are reflected in the company's own procurement processes, as well as in the purchasing agreements. Statnett expects the suppliers to address environmental concerns and comply with ethical and health, safety and environment (HSE) requirements. 

Reputation, reputation-building and visibility

An important objective of Statnett's communication strategy is to become better known. One step in this connection is to make use of market communication and sponsor marketing as a measure to raise awareness of and impart knowledge about Statnett amongst the general public. Given Statnett's important role in the power supply, and the enterprise's upcoming heavy investments in the main grid, general knowledge of Statnett  is imperative. This is particularly important for recruitment purposes.

Statnett's general sponsorship of the Norwegian Skating Association (NSF) is an important part of the efforts to raise awareness and knowledge about the company across the country. Statnett will initially sponsor the NSF until the end of the 2012/2013 skating season.

Statnett also wants to make a positive contribution to local communities where  operating. Employees are encouraged to get involved in local sporting and cultural activities. As an extra incentive, Statnett awards grants for local children’s and young people’s activities. All Statnett employees throughout Norway can apply for such support. To be awarded funding, the employee must hold office or fulfil some other active role in the organisation concerned. Furthermore, the work must be organised in a team, an association or similar. The activity must have a clear, non-profit purpose.

A company's reputation is partly determined by how the outside world evaluates the company's quality on the basis of its products and services, and partly by an emotional dimension, i.e. to what extent one likes and trusts the company. Statnett is responsible for projects that have inspired intense public debate in recent years. This presents challenges with regard to the company's reputation and confidence with the Norwegian population. Today approximately half of the Norwegian population is confident that Statnett will provide a secure supply of electricity. Statnett’s objective is 80 percent by 2016.

Customer satisfaction amongst main grid customers, which are the companies directly linked to the main grid, has increased from 64 points in 2010 to 71 points in 2011. Good collaboration with the customers helps us to carry out core tasks more efficiently, and we are aiming to improve main grid customer satisfaction even more.

With regard to reputation and company profile, we also emphasise that Statnett has a very high employee satisfaction rate and is regarded as one of the best companies to work for in Norway (see Recruitment and Employee Development for more details).

Reputation and customer satisfaction Unit 2011 2010 2009
Reputation - Share of the Norwegian population who have
confidence in Statnett providing a secure supply of electricity*
Percent 47 65 65
Prompted knowledge of who is responsible for the main grid** Percent 56 53 51
Unprompted knowledge of who is responsible for the main grid** Percent 37 38 35
Customer satisfaction*** Score 71 64 59

 

* Source: Synovate market research
** Source: YouGov against their internet panel. Commissioned by Statnett through Mindshare media network
*** Source: TNS Gallup AS
 

Innovation and R&D

Statnett is working in an innovative and forward-looking manner, extensively using research and development (R&D) as a strategic tool for value-creation and innovation. Our R&D strategy is linked directly to the Group strategy.

For the period 2009 – 2011 four R&D programmes and two focus areas (in italics) have been implemented:

  • Northern European Market for Balancing Power
  • Offshore Power Grids – Establishment and Operation
  • Smart Grid
  • Environmental Adaptation of Power Lines
  • Socio-Economic Models
  • Technological Development of Statnett’s Grid Assets

According to the strategy, Statnett will build the next-generation main grid and develop sound methods for efficient operation of the grid to strengthen security of supply and promote value creation. Important prerequisites for achieving this include targeted R&D activities, technological cooperation with other players in the company's own value chain, utilisation of technology and knowledge in the value chain and exchange of technology with other Transmission System Operators (TSO). The R&D programmes are also important priority areas to uncover new knowledge and solutions which facilitate the integration of renewable energy.

Statnett cooperates closely with external expertise environments both in Norway and in other countries. Examples of such environments are other transmission system operators (TSOs) in the Nordic countries and Europe, the supplier industry, ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity), the IEA’s committees and the EU’s R&D Framework Programme (FP7).

Statnett also collaborates closely with educational establishments and research communities, both in Norway and internationally, including the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Narvik University College, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) in Ås, Imperial College in London, Alto University in Finland, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the energy research company SINTEF and the Swedish Transmission Research Institute (STRI). Universities and university colleges are important collaboration partners in terms of recruitment, access to expertise, research and development implementation and support for PhD studies. Moreover, it will contribute to Statnett’s profiling and help make Statnett more visible. Statnett has a strategic ownership interest in STRI (12.5 percent). STRI is an independent technology consulting company with specialist electric power expertise which conducts a number of joint R&D projects for the Nordic TSOs.

Statnett has contributed actively to the development of ENTSO-E’s R&D plan. The plan will become an important R&D tool for transmission system operators in Europe and provide an important venue for Statnett in terms of networking, expertise development and implementation of jointly financed R&D projects. Through this work Statnett participates in R&D projects together with several other TSOs and European universities who receive financial support from the EU's seventh R&D framework programme (FP7). 

Statnett has also played a role in Energi21, established in 2008. The results from Energi21 will form the basis for the national strategy for research, development, demonstration and commercialisation of energy solutions for the future. Statnett has headed the efforts of the task group Energy Systems of the Future and has consequently been able to impact the direction and content of Norwegian R&D relating to future energy solutions. The final Energi21 strategy was adopted in the spring of 2011.

Statnett’s R&D programmes were concluded at the end of 2011. The main focus and overall results from the R&D programmes and focus areas are described in the following. Broad documentation of the results achieved will be published on Statnett’s web site.

Many of the R&D projects have shown positive results and initiated significant cost-reducing measures for Statnett's operations and developments.

Northern European Market for Balancing Power

The EU aims to be "decarbonised" by 2050. This requires large-scale phasing-in of production characterised by low regulating capacity. The regulating capacity of Norwegian hydropower can meet some of the increase in demand and is consequently of high value to the EU. Our flexibility is currently only sold through exchanges in the spot market. Trading in system and regulating power services will further promote Norwegian value creation, and the R&D programme has developed an increased understanding of the interaction between physics and the market.

The results of the project have documented and explained complex correlations, discussed by the EU Commission, by the regulatory authorities in Germany and the Netherlands, as well as by the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators ACER. These discussions are an important part of the efforts to ensure that future regulations will permit the exchange of system and regulating power services for cables.

A key part of the final phase of the programme has been to establish ramping rules for high-voltage direct current cables to increase capacity in the spot market and, at the same time, tackle operating challenges. Plans for how changes to the regulations can realise increased value creation were presented to the Nordic TSOs and were very well received.

Offshore Power Grids – Establishment and Operation

The purpose of the programme was to establish essential knowledge in Statnett for the planning, construction and operation of an offshore grid. The development and operation of such an offshore grid is a formidable task. Through targeted research and development Statnett is ready to play a leading role as system operator of a possible future offshore grid. The deliveries are divided into technological solutions, concept study results, publications and communication.

Smart Grid

Smart Grid is an electricity grid which can handle and automate the flow of electricity through the system, so that we can integrate new renewable energy sources and facilitate safe and efficient energy consumption. Through this programme, Statnett is developing the next generation power grid, with new technology and solutions that will ensure improved utilisation, monitoring and operation of the Norwegian power system.

Statnett has chosen to focus its R&D initiatives on power system operations. The main focus has been on the following areas:

  • Risk handling in power system operations
  • Application of the Wide Area technology
  • Automatic power system diagnosis

The research is conducted at a national level in close cooperation with local technology suppliers, local grid companies and research institutes. The R&D programme is also involved internationally through projects at a Nordic and European level. The results that have been achieved show that Statnett is a world leader in this field.

Environmental Adaptation of Power Lines

The programme Environmental Adaptation of Power Lines increases our factual knowledge of power lines' impact on biodiversity, birds, reindeer, the landscape and general traffic. This knowledge is developed and actively applied in new solutions and in the continuous dialogue with the general public, local authorities, landowners and other stakeholders.

The programme has conducted extensive work relating to a new pylon design including commissioning of a Compact pylon at Lørenskog and the staging of an international architecture competition for a sculpture pylon in Heia in Balsfjord municipality.

Furthermore, other types of pylon designs have been considered and one of these will be developed further and used on the Ørskog-Sogndal line, whereas other pylon designs will be considered in Finnmark County, if they qualify technically.

Socio-Economic Models

The purpose has been to improve the market analysis and power system models and increase general competence in SINTEF and Statnett. SINTEF is the owner and developer of many of the models currently used for power system analysis and has several decades of experience with this type of models. The collaboration between Statnett and SINTEF is of key importance. However, Statnett also cooperates with other players on several of the projects. The other Nordic systems operators are particularly important, as we face many of the same challenges and have much in common in the work we perform.
A major project has also been conducted relating to reliability of deliveries, aimed at developing a methodology for conducting such analyses in much more detail and much quicker than is currently the case, as well as adapting the existing methodology for practical use in Statnett. 

Technological Development of Statnett's Grid Infrastructure

The objective of the R&D programme Technological Development is to conduct research into challenges that are closely linked to our ordinary main tasks in Statnett, meet these quickly and implement the solutions as value-adding improvements, reaping the benefits of the utility value of the improved solutions, technologies and processes. 

The results from the R&D projects have a high utility value, for our core technologies as well as for Statnett's strategic voltage upgrade programme.

In 2011, Statnett established a technology management policy which supports the introduction of R&D technology developments in Statnett’s development projects.

R&D funds   Unit 2011 2010 2009
Total R&D funds NOK million 38.8 38.8 31.8

 

Acc. to programme area/focus area:

Northern European Market for Balancing Power NOK million 2.1 1.7 2.7
Offshore Power Grids- Establishment and Operations NOK million 3.8 4.2 3.7
Smart Grid NOK million 11.0 10.2 7.3
Environmental Adaptation of Power Lines NOK million 7.3 7.2 5.1
Socio-Economic Models NOK million 3.1 2.4 2.7
Technological Development of Statnett's grid infrastructure NOK million 7.8 9.1 8.5
Individual projects NOK million 3.7 4.0 1.8

New R&D programmes from 2012

Statnett is now developing new R&D programmes for the next three years. As before, the new R&D strategy and R&D programmes will be linked to the Group strategy. The final R&D strategy will be published in the spring of 2012.

Development aid

Long-term institutional cooperation with transmission system operators in East Africa and Asia

Statnett helps develop long-term expertise in transmission operator companies (TSOs) in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Nepal. The institutional cooperation, also referred to as twinning projects, is part of the Norwegian authorities' programme for clean energy (Ren Energi). The main objective of the programme is to increase access to clean energy at a reasonable price, based on long-term management of natural resources and efficient energy consumption. Twinning is a well established project form defined by the EU and the World Bank as a "process that pairs an organizational entity in a developing country with a similar but more mature entity in another country".

The principal objective of Statnett's twinning projects is to help increase expertise and efficiency in core areas for our twinning partners, both at an individual and institutional level. The figure below illustrates the disciplines where we operate.

For Statnett it is important to help develop the power supply in the countries where we operate. By doing so, Statnett supports the Norwegian government's initiative to develop the energy sector in selected partner countries. By contributing our own experience and knowledge of how to develop and operate a transmission system operator company, we have seen that we contribute to securing a more stable power supply in our partner countries. This is important for combating poverty, promoting industrial development and strengthening the role of women in particular.

Such projects also provide our own technical experts with exciting challenges and opportunities.
The projects are financed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) or the Norwegian embassies in the respective, partner countries.

Electromagnetic fields

Statnett keeps continuously updated on research into any adverse health effects caused by electromagnetic fields from high-voltage power lines. Furthermore, the enterprise wishes to make its contribution to increase the knowledge in this area.

In 2005, a work group appointed by the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority published a report on management strategy for magnetic fields and health near high-voltage facilities. The report concluded the following:

“We have currently more knowledge about the situation than previously. The summary of extensive research has shown that there is a potential risk of developing leukaemia with children in cases where the magnetic field in the home is above 0.4 microtesla. However, the absolute risk is still considered to be very low.”

The group recommends that a study be implemented when new houses or high-voltage facilities are constructed as a basis for assessing measures which may reduce magnetic fields. The assessment level has been set at 0.4 microtesla for potential measures and calculations to identify additional costs and other disadvantages. Please see the full report for more information about the working group’s work and conclusions.

The assessment requirements and guidelines comprise homes, schools and nursery schools where people spend much of their day. Holiday homes do not fall into this category.

If the average current intensity throughout the year results in a magnetic field of more than 0.4 microtesla in private homes, potential measures should be assessed to reduce the fields to levels below 0.4. However, this does not mean that measures must necessarily be implemented. Field levels, costs and potential health effects must be considered before any remedial measures are considered.

When planning new power lines, we aim to keep them at sufficient distance from residential housing to ensure that the average magnetic fields from the lines do not exceed 0.4 microtesla in the buildings.