Netherlands changes grid code to reduce congestion, host more renewables


Netbeheer Nederland, the Dutch association of national and regional power network operators, has revealed that the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has decided to change the grid code for the congested national network, to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix.

The association said that network operators suggested the change to enable congestion service providers (CSPs) to begin acting as intermediaries, in order to make optimal use of the available space on the network.

Under the new rules, grid operators will be allowed to make agreements with market entities about how often and for what fee they help to reduce the peak. The CSPs will act as independent services providers between the network operator and connected customers.

“The CSPs should balance production, storage, and demand in such a way, that very expensive new grid infrastructure should not be built,” solar analyst Peter Segaar told pv magazine. “These companies must facilitate optimal usage of existing capacities and will act as intermediate parties to balance temporary surpluses in demand as well as for local production of energy.”

The Netherlands urgently needs to address grid constraints, as high volumes of solar capacity will be deployed in the years ahead. Over the past two years, Dutch power supplier Liander has implemented a number of measures to increase grid capacity in several areas facing grid constraints, which are preventing more renewables from going online. These measures include the deployment of two giant transformers and congestion management for grid bottlenecks.

More recently, Dutch electricity transmission system operator Tennet said it would invest €13 billion ($13.3 billion) to expand the national high-voltage grid. The plan includes the construction of 40 new onshore high-voltage stations across every province.

In January 2019, Tennet and Enexis warned for the first time that there was extremely limited capacity for more solar in the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel. Three months later, the two companies said they would boost the connection capacity available for solar over the next few years, particularly in the country’s less densely populated east.

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