Rules for transmission of electricity across Europe are being formulated by the organisation of European Transmission System Operators (ETSO). The organisation was founded in 1999 as a loose association of the four regional organisations for transmission grid operators (TSOs) in Europe. These are ATSOI, the association of transmission system operators in Ireland, UKTSOA in Britain, NORDEL in Scandinavia, and the Union for the Co-ordination of Electricity Transmission (UCTE), which is the association of TSOs for the continental countries of western and central Europe.
ETSO is governed by a council representing the four founding associations and by a steering committee, in which each of the member countries is represented.
TSOs are responsible for the bulk transmission of electric power on the main high voltage electric networks. They provide grid access to the electricity market players (generating companies, traders, suppliers and customers) according to non-discriminatory and transparent rules, and ensure the safe operation and maintenance of the system. In many countries, they are also in charge of the planning and development of the grid infrastructure.
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