Fresh grid congestion warning as almost 5 GW of solar and wind backs up in Netherlands

Dutch grid company Tennet has issued a fresh warning about network congestion caused by the “rapid growth of wind and solar farms,” this time in the Gelderland and Flevopolder regions in the central and eastern Netherlands.

A notice issued by Tennet to regulator the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) stated the electric grid company would have to split the Flevoland-Gelderland-Utrecht 150 kV network into at least four sections, each with a connection to the 380 kV grid; install new transformers to raise 150/380 kV transformation capacity; and possibly upgrade 150 kV connections in the areas affected.

Issuing the official notice of the problem this month, Tennet said 4.8 GW of solar and wind generation capacity was either already in place or under development in Gelderland and Flevopolder – the equivalent of six conventional power plants – and all of the regional network’s 5.6 GW electricity transmission capacity has been contracted out.

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The grid company, which also serves customers in Germany, said adding transformers at Dodewaard, Doetinchem, and Lelystad, “among other places,” would take place in 2026-29. The company told the ACM, upgrading the network would take three to seven years and energy bottlenecks should be anticipated from this year until 2029.

Tennet said it “is expected to invest” €450 million in upgrading the grid in the areas concerned and also said it was exploring network congestion management using “a method based on the electricity market to create more space on the grid and at the same time prevent overloading of the electricity network.” That has previously referred to potentially offering incentives to generators to curtail output during periods of congestion.

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