TenneT said it could realise additional space on the grid to connect new solar and wind farms in four provinces. That is the conclusion of the national grid operator following studies in those regions, which examined whether the grid could be relieved at peak times.
The regions concerned are Friesland, Flevopolder, Gelderland and Utrecht. A total of 161 MW of additional capacity will be added initially, growing to over 370 MW by 2024. At the same time, TenneT will actively seek to expand this capacity in the coming period.
In the four regions, the maximum capacity of the regional high-voltage grid had been reached by 2021 due to the rapid emergence of solar parks in particular. This development was faster than high-voltage grids can be expanded. As a result, new applications could temporarily not be processed. Interested parties were put on a waiting or interest list.
Flexible use of grid
TenneT says it recently conducted research to see if it is possible to create more space through flexible use of the grid whereby grid users would relieve the electricity grid at busy times for a fee. This is similar to the system of rush-hour avoidance. The additional space created this way allows more parties to be connected. Regulations to deploy this form of flexibility were amended this year by the regulator ACM to make it easier to apply.
In the four provinces, the deployment of flexibility could add 161 MW of additional space in the coming period. The additional space will grow further to 370 MW once transformer capacity is expanded in Friesland, expected to take place in 2024. Over the next two months, TenneT will make agreements with the parties that can supply flexible capacity. Following this, the regional grid operators Stedin (Utrecht) and Liander (Friesland, Flevopolder and Gelderland) can restart the processes to connect customers who had ended up on a waiting or interest list.
The amount of flexibility found is not enough to facilitate all customers on the waiting lists in the different provinces. The waiting and interest lists add up to around 1,000 MW in these regions. TenneT estimates only ten per cent of the flexible potential has been found currently. The grid operator will actively look for more parties who want to participate and can offer flexible capacity.
3.5 billion euros in investments
Parallel to this measure, plenty of grid reinforcements are also taking place. TenneT is investing over 3.5 billion euros in the provinces of Friesland, Flevoland, Gelderland and Utrecht over the next ten years. In the process, the provincial grids will eventually be cut up into several smaller subareas, each with its own ramp to the high-voltage highway. Additional connections will also be built. In ten years’ time, capacity will be doubled or even tripled in several places.
TenneT also announced that it will, in cooperation with regional grid operators and various industry associations, investigate the possibility of relieving the grid at times when capacity demand is too high in order to create capacity. A national market consultation will be launched for this purpose. The study should provide more insight into where additional space can be found on the existing grid by deploying flexibility. Source: TenneT