Netherlands combats grid overcapacity with flexible contracts for PV owners


Dutch transmission system operator Enexis has awarded a “capacity limitation” contract to a 5.6 MW solar plant. It said the deal was the second contract of its kind to be granted to a renewable energy plant operator, following similar contract in November 2022 for a 10 MW wind farm operated by Dutch energy company Eneco.

Enexis said the 5.6 MW solar farm is owned and operated by pet food manufacturer E.J. Bos in Vianen, in Brabant province.

A CBC is a form of congestion management that allows the electricity grid to be used more efficiently,” Enexis said in a statement.At peak times we ask the solar park to inject less electricity into the grid. In return, we pay compensation for this form of rush hour avoidance.”

CBCs can be granted in the Netherlands by congestion service providers (CSPs) acting as intermediaries, in order to make optimal use of the available space on the network.

The existing regulations permit grid operators to negotiate agreements with market entities on the frequency and cost of assisting in peak reduction. Additionally, CSPs serve as independent service providers between the network operator and connected customers.

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The Netherlands 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. 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.

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