Netherlands electricity grid struggling under explosive growth of solar parks

Grid managers Tennet and Enexis want no new solar parks to be built in Groningen and northern Drenthe for the time being. The electricity grid there does not have sufficient capacity to process the energy from any new solar parks, according to the companies, NOS reports.

"We can handle the current situation, but if the many requests for solar parks keep coming, there is simply not enough space to transport all the electricity", spokesperson Loek de Lange of Enexis said to the broadcaster.

The grid managers are not prepared for the rapid increase in the number of parks and the large amount of electricity they generate. "Unlike with wind farms, the government does not designate specific areas for solar parks. So we don't know in advance whether a solar park will be built somewhere, but we are obliged to connect them to the electricity grid", De Lange said to the broadcaster. 

This is a particularly big problem in the Stadskanaal-Musselkanaal-Gasselte triangle. There are already several solar parks in the area, and a number more will be built in the short term. The area is popular among project developers because land is relatively cheap there. Farmers are made enthusiastic about making their land available, and sharing in the profits. The grid managers are talking with solar project initiators to see if they can not better realize their project elsewhere, according to ANP.

"Together with Tennet we are investigating what we can do", De Lange said to NOS. Strengthening the electricity grid is a possible solution, but that can take years, according to Enexis.