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More space on power grid through business cooperation

This article is part of the series "Power heroes - pioneering solutions to grid congestion"

All over the Netherlands, and in the Brainport region in particular, there is a shortage of capacity on the electricity network due to the explosive increase in electrification. The grid operator, Enexis, has indicated that no new or heavier connections for companies are possible for the time being. A problem for all companies with a large user connection (>3 x 80A) in Brainport. Based on current forecasts, the region is expected to face waiting times for wholesale connections for the next five to ten years.

Rethinking is necessary 

In Brainport, many companies are working together on a variety of topics. However, sharing energy contracts or sustainably generated energy is still new for many companies. It is also not yet permitted by law. But new legislation is in the making. In the bill for the new Energy Act, setting up an energy community with companies as members will be allowed. This should make it easier to exchange energy among themselves, develop collective energy activities such as energy trading. The new law is expected to be implemented in 2024. 

This will require new forms of contracts from the grid operator. Experiments are currently underway with capacity-limiting contracts and group agreements. This involves designated pilot areas. However, these are not yet standardized and therefore cannot yet be entered into by companies that are not in a pilot area.

Starting to unite 

That doesn't mean companies can't do something. First, they themselves can take a close look at their own energy consumption. Are there opportunities to save power or spread their use better throughout the day, so that the electricity requested does not go over their allowed contract value. Generating their own renewable energy is also a no-regret measure at this time. 

In addition, companies in the area can compare energy profiles. When are they using a lot, when less? Who in the neighborhood generates energy and does not need it all? By starting the conversation with each other, understanding each other's consumption, an energy community can be established.  

In this way, steps can be taken more quickly when the new legislation and contract forms are available.

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