Image: Liander

Netherlands utility Liander plans major electricity grid expansions across five regions in the country over the next ten years.

The Netherlands is switching to sustainable energy supply. Wind and solar parks are increasingly producing green electricity that must be transported via the electricity grid to consumers elsewhere in the country. In addition, expanding industrial and other activities are growing the demand for more electricity. In many places, at least a doubling of the capacity of the electricity grid is needed to meet this demand.

Liander, with responsibility for the energy supply of 3.2 million Dutch households and businesses in five provinces, has set out its plans for grid expansions in these areas over the next decade in its new Investment Plan 2020.

An investment of €1.7 billion ($2 billion) is anticipated over the first three years, 2020 to 2022.

Related articles:
EIB backs grid and renewables integration in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is well-positioned for rapid transition to carbon-neutral

“The energy transition is in full swing. This requires an enormous expansion and upgrading of Liander’s electricity grid,” the investment document states. “We are facing a large-scale challenge that requires intensive collaboration with municipalities, provinces and other partners within and outside the energy sector.”

North Holland is characterised by major new construction developments, the establishment of data centres and greenhouse horticulture.

Friesland and Flevoland both have large rural areas in which wind and solar is growing. In Friesland rooftop solar is prominent, while in Flevoland the ambition of the municipalities is to jointly realize 1,000MW of solar capacity.

The province of Gelderland covers a large and diverse area, in which more and more large-scale wind and solar generation is being realised. Business parks, logistics centres and the greenhouse horticulture sector are growing. The province also is working on the electrification of public transport.

In the northern part of South Holland where Liander is active, new homes are being built, a lot of sustainable energy is being generated and horticulture is switching from gas to electricity.

Liander has estimated, based on the increasing demand in these areas, that over 120 of the electricity distribution stations would become overloaded up to 2030. To prevent this, at least 60 new distribution stations will be built and over 90 existing stations will be expanded.

Other upgrades will include laying of new thicker cables and strengthening of the medium voltage grid in some areas.