Dutch Regulator ACM says Dutch TSO TenneT broke the law

The Dutch energy regulator ACM issued an order today according to which the Dutch Transmission System Operator (TSO) TenneT was to blame for the big power outage in the Amsterdam area in 2015. One million people and several industries were affected by the outage, amongst them Tata Steel, who have launched a complaint with ACM. ACM now said thatTenneT acted in contradiction to a number of its legal obligations, above all the so called ‘enkelvoudige storingsreserve’.

Under the relevant provisions the Dutch TSO is obliged to make sure that interruptions in parts of the electricity net do not lead to transport interruptions. ACM now orders TenneT to update infrastructure to ensure compliance with this norm https://www.acm.nl/nl/publicaties/publicatie/17613/TenneT-voldeed-bij-stroomstoring-Diemen-niet-aan-wettelijke-verplichtingen/.

TenneT argues that it complied with all requests of the regulator that have been directed towards them after the outage. The TSO argues that the law asks the TSo to ensure that the highest voltage net of the Netherlands (110-380 kV) is set up in a way that at least two similar components are available at every spot, so that in case of an outage, spare part can take over the functions of the broken part https://www.tennet.eu/nl/nieuws/nieuws/acm-besluit-leidt-tot-grote-nodeloze-investeringen/.

TenneT argues that they did comply with this where it is necessary, but that a `black letter` approach of literally having every component of this high voltage grid in double does not make sense and does not increase the reliability of the grid. The ACM, nonetheless, ordered TenneT to do just that, a measure that TenneT claims will cost them and others up to 7 billion euros in `useless`i nvestments https://www.tennet.eu/nl/nieuws/nieuws/acm-besluit-leidt-tot-grote-nodeloze-investeringen/.

The full ACM report can be found here: https://www.acm.nl/nl/publicaties/publicatie/17618/Geschilbesluit-Tata-Steel--TenneT-stroomstoring-Diemen/ and the relevant regulation is available here https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/detail?id=2015D33996&did=2015D33996.


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