Whether it concerns a wind farm, solar park, an electrolyser or energy storage, initiatives in the energy transition are in many cases dependent on a connection to the grid. Especially if there is a rush, the realization of an electricity connection and the necessary connection can become a bottle neck in the project.

Sometimes sharing a grid connection is a godsend. If this grid connection is realized with sufficient transmission capacity for two or more initiatives, this can save time and costs.

In Windplanblauw, where Aratis has a role and responsibility for the grid connection and connection, among other things, there is such a situation. Instead of independently requesting a grid connection for the individual parks, a private grid is created here, a so-called Closed Distribution System (GDS). The management of a GDS requires permission from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).

Aratis, in collaboration with partners within the wind plan, has developed and developed a strategy for the grid connection. After considering the alternatives, the opportunities and risks of the GDS were mapped out. Questions that were raised were:

  • Who is the logical owner of the grid?
  • What mutual agreements do you make?
  • Are the conditions of the ACM met?
  • How and what do you buy?
  • Who takes care of the exemption application, the design, the construction and the operation?

The establishment of the necessary partnership or the purchase of the service takes at least a few weeks to months, a decision by the ACM then quickly requires a year. For Windplanblauw, the exemption from ACM is expected in mid-2020.

A simplification of the regulations is in the making, whereby in a number of municipalities the possibility arises to connect solar and wind from various nearby projects to the grid via one shared connection without GDS (cable pooling). In this situation, too, it pays to sit down early on the agreements to be made between them, with which risks are recognized and controlled in time during development, construction and operation.

A combined connection offers opportunities, start on time!

For more information about a GDS and the role of Aratis, please contact Jeroen van der Sloot via jeroen.vandersloot@aratis.nl.