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Dutch DSO Westland wants to experiment with a new energy model

19-09-2018

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) wants to grant Westland, a Dutch distribution system operator (DSO), permission to experiment with the so-called Smart Grid Westland-model (SGW). Participants in this experiment will not pay the high network tariff if they use more electricity than was agreed upon in advance with the system operator. This is only possible during times when sufficient capacity is available on the Westland grid. In that way, the available capacity in the Westland grid can be used more efficiently. Furthermore, it is likely that peaks in grid usage are spread better. As a result, it is likely that grid capacity upgrades will be needed less frequently.

This experiment could contribute to the energy transition

This experiment provides insight into efficient grid usage, for example, into the way that users are able to respond to peaks in the supply of electricity, when energy prices are lower. This will occur more frequently in the future because of the increase in solar and wind energy. In that way, ACM believes that this experiment could also contribute to the energy transition.

Call for opinions

In order to make this experiment possible, ACM is planning to grant Westland a temporary exemption from a number of rules governing the electricity market. ACM is calling on interested parties to inform ACM of their opinions regarding the use of the SGW model. To that end, ACM is organizing a hearing.

Using the model in more locations

According to ACM, the SGW-model could be used in more locations, and by other DSOs. This would be the case if the experiment indeed showed that buyers are able to make use of the grid in a more efficient way, and if it also showed that grid capacity upgrades can be delayed or even prevented.

Ensuring an efficient transition to sustainable energy

ACM promotes opportunities and options for businesses and consumers. As an independent regulator, ACM promotes a well-functioning economy. Among other things, ACM ensures that rates for energy and energy transport remain reasonable.

ACM wants to make sure that the transition to sustainable energy can be made efficiently, in order to keep the costs of the energy transition as low as possible. Well-functioning markets are an indispensable part of this equation. Consumers and businesses must be able to rely on the supply of energy as they transition to sustainable energy.