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TenneT and Nuon to realize ‘black start’ facility for northern Netherlands

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TenneT and Nuon have concluded an agreement for the realization of a so-called ‘black start’ facility at Nuon’s Magnum power plant in Eemshaven in the north of the Netherlands. The facility will ensure that power to the high-voltage grid is quickly restored after any black-out that would leave the Netherlands temporarily without electricity.

Security of supply

Although such a black-out is highly unlikely, TenneT must be prepared for this situation under European agreements. Nuon will make the black-start facility available as of 1 January 2018 on the site of its Magnum power plant in Eemshaven. In the event of a black-out, the facility must be started up as quickly as possible upon TenneT’s request and must subsequently remain available for at least 24 hours.


In a black-out situation, a recovery facility is needed to restore power to the grid. The  power plants in the Netherlands must be started up again. The black-start facility at Eemshaven will supply electricity to start up one of the units of the Magnum power plant, which can then be used to start up other plants. The black-start facility thus serves as a ‘starter motor’ to put the power plant back into operation, and subsequently the grid as a whole. TenneT has concluded contracts with the operators of three similar facilities in the northern, central and southern Netherlands.


The black-start facility at Eemshaven will consist of a diesel emergency power generator, a gas turbine generator, and one of the three units of the Magnum power plant. One notable aspect is that Nuon will not build an entirely new installation, but will relocate an existing gas turbine generator to the site of the Magnum power plant. Work on the black-start facility will start in early 2017. 

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Jeroen Brouwers

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+31 (0)26 373 26 00


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