TenneT is Europe’s first cross-border grid operator. We operate, maintain and expand the high-voltage grid in the Netherlands and a large part of Germany. We are committed to providing a secure and reliable supply of electricity, today and in the future, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That means we transport electricity over 22,500 kilometres of high-voltage connections, from wherever and whatever source it is produced, to 41 million end-users while keeping electricity supply and demand in balance at all times.
Responsible, engaged and connected
We transport electricity across borders, connecting countries and ensuring the power supply on which we all depend. As we do this, we work tirelessly to meet our stakeholders' needs by being responsible, engaged and connected.
The vast majority of our activities are regulated by the ACM in the Netherlands and the BNetzA in Germany. We have three regulated tasks:(1) the transportation of electricity, (2) system services for maintaining the energy balance, and (3) market facilitation.
We transport electricity
The high-voltage grid is the backbone of the electricity supply system. It is used for the transport of large quantities of electricity over long distances. Electricity generated at sea, for instance, is transported via subsea cables and then connected to the high-voltage grid. We are a key player in the electricity supply chain. This chain consists of grid operators and producers of electricity from both conventional and fast-growing renewable energy sources that feed in to our grid as well as large users of electricity.
Because wind farms and power plants are often far away from where electricity is used, we need to carry it over large distances without incurring major losses on the way. To achieve this, we transport electricity at very high voltages: 110 kV and higher in the Netherlands and 220 kV and higher in Germany.
Our high-voltage grid is connected to regional and local distribution grids managed by a large number of other grid companies, so-called distribution system operators (DSOs). It is also connected to large industrial customers and prosumers, i.e. energy consumers simultaneously acting as producers. For maps of our onshore and offshore high-voltage grid, click here.
Our track record is solid with our grid being available 99.9986% of the time during 2017 – even though physically bringing supply and demand of electricity together is far more complex than it used to be. While global electricity demand keeps increasing, so too does the demand for power from sustainable and clean sources – such as wind, solar, bio mass and tidal, which are often located in remote areas, such as on the North Sea. Bringing it onshore and then transporting it over vast distances across land is a challenging task. This switch from traditional to renewable energy sources – often called the ‘energy transition’ – is currently the biggest challenge faced by the energy sector in general and grid operators in particular.
Maintaining the balance between supply and demand
As electricity is fed into the grid, we need to carefully balance the level of electricity supply with demand. Since electricity cannot be stored in large quantities, continuous adjustment of electricity supply and demand is needed in order to ensure security of supply. To do this, we have national control centres in the Netherlands and in Germany, where supply and demand are monitored and balanced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Electricity knows no geographical borders, and we believe north-west Europe is better served by an integrated electricity market. As such, we have extensively connected our electricity grid with the countries around us. In doing so, we help establish a single market that guarantees a reliable electricity supply at a fair price.
In addition to our core tasks, we are involved in a limited number of so-called non-regulated activities. These either help to ensure that the energy market operates smoothly and efficiently, or are ancillary to our regulated activities by making better use of existing assets. For a full overview of our group structure click here.