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Electricity transmission requires sweeping measures by system operator

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has published a number of frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) about scarcity in transmission capacity on the grid. With these FAQs, ACM provides clarity about the rights and obligations of system operators and network users.

Many energy initiatives experience delays when they wish to be connected to the grid. Some initiatives even fail to be connected at all. The reason is that the construction of wind farms or solar parks is often faster than the development of the grid that is needed to connect these parks and farms.

Remko Bos, Director of ACM’s Energy Department, says: ‘System operators must take sweeping measures to make electricity transmission possible. That is important in order to be able to realize the energy transition.’

Right to a connection in all circumstances

Network users have the right to a connection in all circumstances. Insufficient transmission capacity on the grid is no reason for refusing a connection. Network users that request new connections have the same rights as network users that already have connections. The right to a connection does not mean that networks user always have the right to transmission. If the system operator has taken all possible measures, it is allowed to refuse transmission. However, the system operator has to substantiate this refusal, and report it to ACM. In order to offer as much transmission as possible, system operators must invest, in a timely manner, in the improvement and expansion of the grid.

Using congestion management more often

In order to determine whether there is sufficient transmission capacity, the system operator must take as a starting point the transmission capacity that is actually used, instead of the transmission capacity that market participants have contracted. Should there still be too little transmission capacity (physical congestion), the system operator will have to use congestion management more often than it does now. This means that the system operator will ask network users to adjust the production or consumption of energy. Network users will be compensated for any losses.

Dispute-settlement requests

Interested parties that feel they have not been treated lawfully by the system operator have the opportunity to file a dispute-settlement request with ACM.

See also
28-06-2019 Frequently asked questions about scarcity in transmission capacity