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TenneT's new investment plans: doubling its portfolio

National grid operator TenneT expects to be at work expanding or reinforcing grids at 700 locations in the Netherlands over the next 10 years. This doubles TenneT's portfolio compared to two years ago. This can be read in the Investment Plans 2024-2033, which the national grid operator made available for inspection today.

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Momentum for the energy transition

Electrification and renewables

The energy transition is gaining momentum. Industry is electrifying, heat pumps and charging stations are being installed at an increasing pace, and the supply of solar and wind energy continues to increase. These developments require a major overhaul of the electricity grid, which was not originally designed for this.

In the 'Investment Plan on Land' and 'Investment Plan at Sea' published today, TenneT describes which projects are needed over the next ten years to make the electricity grid ready for the future. The national grid operator expects to carry out around 700 major infrastructure projects. These include grid extensions, replacement investments, new customer connections, offshore wind farms and reconstruction projects. Among other things, TenneT will develop five larger new power highways (380kV) over the next ten years and will modernise 140 high-voltage substations.

This is double the estimate in the previous investment plan (2022). The fast-growing demand for additional grid capacity is the main reason for the increase in the portfolio, partly due to making industry more sustainable and the growth of heat pumps, charging stations, wind turbines (offshore) and solar farms.

Maarten Abbenhuis, COO TenneT:

'With our society rapidly electrifying, this calls for a rigorous transformation of our entire energy system. Grid operators are scaling up dramatically to realise all grid adaptations. Clearly, not everything can be done at once either. Good cooperation, understanding each other's situations and making sensible, sometimes difficult choices is necessary.'

Prioritisation in growing portfolio

Making choises

Because the need for grid capacity is greater than can be realised, the portfolio has been prioritised. To ensure grid reliability, a significant part is invested in maintenance and replacement of the existing grid. In addition, high-priority projects, such as so-called MIEK projects, have been identified in close cooperation with the various authorities.

The investment plan also reveals the progress of ongoing projects. Of the 252 grid expansion projects already planned, 60 projects have been moved up in schedule compared to the investment plan of two years ago. This has internal and external causes. The main one is that work on the high-voltage grid has to take place safely, which is increasingly complex to plan with a growing number of projects. In addition, design, delivery and incorporation still require a lot of lead time.

It is therefore good that outgoing minister Jetten sent a letter to parliament on 18 October announcing new measures to speed up grid expansions. TenneT also drew up a seven-point plan earlier this year, in which it calls attention to a number of preconditions needed for the future energy system.

Stakeholders can respond to the plans until 29 November. The final plan will be sent to the regulator ACM in early 2024.

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