Connection to the grid

Updated: 09.01.2019

Author: Stijn Anciaux

The Dutch grid operators are obliged to provide a connection offer to every operator of a (renewable) energy plant if the plant operator has applied for such a connection (art. 23 (1) in conjunction with art. 16 (1) (e) Electricity Act). A plant operator's contractual claim for connection by the grid operator arises when the connection agreement is concluded. The grid operator is obliged to enter into such an agreement on application (art. 23 (1) Electricity Act).

Entitled party.
Everyone, though as a rule a plant operator, is entitled to connection to the grid, if he/she has concluded an agreement on connection to the grid with the grid operator.

Obligated party. The party obliged to establish connection to the grid is the grid operator that has concluded an agreement with the plant operator. The grid operator is obliged to enter into an agreement on application (art. 23 (1) Electricity Act).


Process flow

The connection process for renewable energy plants comprises the following steps:

  • The plant operator applies to the grid operator for connection.
  • The grid operator makes a connection offer (art. 24 (1) Electricity Act).
  • The grid operator and the plant operator conclude an agreement on grid access and connection.
  • If necessary, the grid is extended or reinforced (art. 28 in conjunction with art. 20 (1) Electricity Act).
  • The plant is connected to the grid.


Power generation plants shall be connected within a reasonable period of time, i.e. within 18 weeks after the connection offer is made (art. 23 (3) Electricity Act).

Plants whose capacity exceeds 10 MW do not need be connected within this time scale (art. 23 (3) Electricity Act). The time scale for the connection of these plants is set out in the terms of the agreement concluded by the parties.

Priority to renewable energy

  • Priority to renewable energy
  • Non-discrimination

Plants shall be connected according to non-discriminatory criteria (art. 23 (2) and art. 24 (3) Electricity Act). By the same token, the grid operator is obliged to apply non-discriminatory criteria when he sets up a connection agreement (art. 26a (1) and art. 23 (2) Electricity Act). However, renewable energy plants are not eligible for priority connection to the grid.

Capacity limits (quantitative criteria)

On the basis of article 23 of the Electricity act the grid operator is obliged to connect the plant to the grid. In general, if grid capacity is insufficient the grid operator can deny access to the grid. If this concerns renewable electricity the grid operator is obliged to inform the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) of the measures it will take to prevent this in the future (art. 24 (1)(2), Electricity Act).

Distribution of costs

As stated by TenneT (TSO), the charges for the connection of a plant to the grid comprise two elements: on the one hand, the charge for establishing a connection and on the other hand, an annual maintenance fee. The charges to be paid are annually determined by the Netherlands Competition Authority in accordance with the Fee Code.

Plant operator

The costs of connection to the grid are borne by the plant operator (art. 28 (2) Electricity Act). The connection charges must be objective, transparent and non-discriminatory (art. 28 (3) Electricity Act).


Further information

  • Autoriteit Consument & Markt (ACM) - Authority for Consumers & Markt
  • +31 70 72 22 000
  • ACM website

Basic information on legal sources