– I look forward to meeting RME to clarify the Statnett “Green Change of Pace” strategy adopted in 2021. The actions we have initiated and are working on will increase capacity in the network, through upgrading and a new network, significant digitalization, new technology and optimized operation, says the President Executive Hilda Toon.
Statnet and RME will meet on 5 January, and the written briefing has been sent in advance of this meeting. In addition to the strategy, Statnet appears in the letter to the 2023 System Development Plan sent to the NVE in November 2023 and to the “Area Plans” from 2022, where needs and measures are described in more detail. Since 2021, short-term and long-term market analyzes by Statnett have indicated a need to increase grid capacity and energy production – and that Norway is heading towards a negative energy balance by 2028.
– The measures outlined in the strategy, system development plan and district plans will provide a significant boost in capacity and will facilitate almost doubling current consumption, while Statnet has already retained capacity for much of the new consumption, says Hilde Tohn.
Has reserved capacity
Statnett has already maintained a capacity for new and increased consumption of 7,900 MW. This represents about 3/4 of all connection requests from larger industrial projects that are considered mature.
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– Based on systematic work with connections in recent years, as well as a focus on increasing capacity in the network we already have, we have been able to achieve a solid increase of around 8,000 MW from what can already be booked today. In addition, we recently changed the principles surrounding normal consumption, so that consumption below 5 MW and below 20 GWh can connect to the electricity grid without waiting, emphasizes Ton.
This includes residences, public institutions and commercial customers with limited output, who constitute the majority of Norwegian electricity customers. Statnet informed RME of this in a letter dated 30 November 2023.
Nearly 1000 megawatts annually
– Over the next ten years, arrangements have been made for energy consumption to grow larger than ever before in Norwegian energy history. Meanwhile, network development continues, and the need for increased capacity is being investigated in our region's plans as we see all the inquiries about connecting together, says Toon.
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In the letter to RME, Statnett explains that capacity is allocated to sufficiently mature customers, when operationally sound. If a customer does not have enough progress, they lose their reservation and capacity is released to other customers.
– In order to facilitate growth in Norwegian energy consumption, in 2021 Statnett launched the “Det greene taktskiftet” strategy in which we announced the need for increased investment. Toon notes that Statnett is well underway on several projects, and the measures outlined in the district plans provide a significant boost in the ability to cover new consumption.
-There is also a need to increase energy production. Without new energy production, the price of energy will rise to levels that make continued development of energy-based industry less realistic, as we noted in a Statement Letter to the Directorate of the Executive Directorate titled “Energy Shortages and Impact in a Few Years” in December 2022.
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Large industrial plans could double current electricity consumption
– Growth in energy consumption may be greater than previously expected
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The network is already highly utilized, and requires capacity reserve for further growth in consumption before major actions are completed. Statnett has initiated several measures to increase capacity, including by raising temperatures and changing operating limits, while at the same time Statnett is taking greater calculated risks and planning to increase the use of system protection.
In addition, more customers are tied to special conditions, which means they must limit consumption or production when there is not enough space in the network. Statnet also assumes that consumers will become more flexible in the future, and this will provide a certain basis for the “overbooking” of reserved capacity. Market initiatives, such as flow-based market coupling (to be introduced in 2024) and automated system operation, also contribute to the high utilization of the energy system.
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Faster case processing
Sufficient capacity and progress for customers who want to connect depend on good framework conditions. Statnett believes that faster licensing processing and future-oriented economic regulation are needed to successfully develop sufficient network capacity in a timely manner.
– We at Statnett look forward to further dialogue with the Department of Energy (formerly OED), NVE and RME, in order to contribute to good processes and solutions on this topic, says Ton.
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