Too many solar farms threaten to overwhelm regional networks


Regional grid operators Tennet and Enexis say their networks lack the capacity to process the electricity generated by an increasing number of solar farms in Groningen and the north of Drenthe, broadcaster NOS reports.

‘We can just about manage the present situation but if applications to build more solar farms are granted we simply don’t have the capacity to transport the energy,’ Enexis spokesperson Loek de Lange told the broadcaster.

The triangle Stadskanaal-Musselkanaal-Gasselte is where the problem is at its most acute. The area, which is popular among project developers because land relatively cheap, already has a number of solar farms and more have been given permits.

According to the grid operators, government rules are not specific about where to put solar farms. ‘We don’t know in advance if a solar farm will be built but we are obliged to connect it to the network,’ De Lange is quoted as saying.

But solar farm owners are running a risk as well. When the network reaches maximum capacity the electricity generated by the solar farms cannot be offloaded to the network. And that means they won’t make money, NOS states.

One solution is to increase capacity but that will take years, the grid operators say.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation