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ACM introduces quality standard for the high-voltage grids

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has introduced a standard for voltage dips on the high-voltage grids. Today, ACM published a decision concerning a code amendment that stipulates how often voltage dips may occur at a connection point on the high-voltage grid in one year. In general, the deeper or longer a voltage dip is, the less frequently it may occur. This decision applies mostly to customers of the national transmission system operator TenneT, which tend to be industrial users and electricity producers.

Harm resulting from voltage dips

Voltage dips are temporary drops in the voltage that may cause harm to businesses. Voltage dips may damage sensitive electronic equipment or even put them out of order. It costs time and money to restart production processes.

Improved exchange of information

In the decision about the voltage dips, ACM has also made arrangements about the exchange of information between network operators and customers following the occurrence of a voltage dip. The exchange of information gives customers clarity about voltage quality, and it stimulates network operators to actively continue to ensure a secure supply of electricity. Network operators must make sure that as few voltage dips as possible occur on their grids. This decision additionally mandates network operators to collect information on the causes of voltage dips: are voltage dips caused by, for example, a poorly-maintained network, by a stroke of lightning or by the customer’s installation?

Follow-up

The current obligation for network operators to use their best efforts will, in the future, be replaced by a result-based obligation. The latter offers customers more clarity about the maximum number of voltage dips they can expect at their connection points.