Dutch energy company Eneco and grid operator Enexis Netbeheer have signed a contract to gear the electricity supplied by a wind project in Farmsum, province of Groningen, to the load on the power grid to make grid capacity available for solar panels. This is the first time either Enexis or Eneco has concluded this type of contract.
The deal concerns a wind farm that is connected to one of Enexis’ medium-voltage stations in Weiwerd. That station’s power grid has virtually no room left for more capacity. During peak moments, Eneco will temporarily reduce the production of wind energy from this onshore wind farm in Farmsum, freeing up room on the grid again. Enexis will pay a fee for this.
The wind farm has a total capacity of approximately 25 megawatts. Eneco will make 10 megawatts of flexible capacity available to Enexis, to make grid capacity available for connecting roughly 30,000 solar panels. The contract takes effect on 1 September 2023.
The power grid is reaching full capacity in more and more places – for both large producers and large consumers of electricity. When it is sunny or windy, many stations reach the limits of their technical capabilities, meaning that no more grid capacity is available to connect new customers. The same applies to the use of electricity: an increasing number of stations have peak load moments when the demand for electricity is so high that they reach full capacity.
Short term solution needed
The primary solution is to expand the power grid. Hard work is being put into this, but the reality is also that these are multi-year projects. In the short term, making more efficient use of the existing power grid is the only way to free up more capacity. Eneco has now concluded the first ‘capacity restriction contract’ with Enexis. By feeding back less electricity into the grid during peak moments, other customers have more room. This form of avoiding peak moments is called congestion management. The contract between Enexis and Eneco has no fixed end date: it will remain in place until the local power grid has been upgraded.
Optimising the energy system is a key goal for Eneco, as this will enable the production of more green electricity. ‘Increasing sustainable production is also the ambition in our One Planet Plan to become energy-neutral by 2035,’ explains Lucien Wiegers, Director of Eneco’s trading division EET. ‘We are pleased to have secured this first deal with Enexis, and we expect to sign several more of these contracts, not only for our own wind and solar farms, but also for farms that we manage for others.’
Enexis is extremely happy with the signing of this contract. ‘We are transitioning to an energy system where these types of flexible contracts are becoming increasingly important,’ says Karin Mathijssen, Director of Large Business Customers at Enexis. ‘At the same time, this is a new concept – not only for us, but also for our customers. I would like to thank Eneco for taking this first step. Hopefully, many companies will follow this example. I am confident that we will sign more of these types of contracts in the near future. To serve as many of the customers on the waiting list as possible, Enexis will continue to look for parties that can supply flexible capacity and that follow Eneco’s excellent example.
Watch the video. Source: Eneco