Re-energising after a black-out

In the event of a full blackout of its grid, to restore the high-voltage system Elia may rely on services offered by Restoration Service Providers (RSP).

A plan for restoration after blackout

Belgium’s economy must be able to rely on swift restoration of the power supply from the grid when a blackout occurs. As a Transmission System Operator (TSO), Elia has set up a Restoration Plan, which it will execute at the time needed in coordination with crisis teams, neighbouring TSOs, Belgian DSOs (distribution system operators) and relevant grid users.
In 2018, Elia published a study report on the restoration plan and the role of black-start services therein.

A design for restoring the system from the bottom up

Depending on the situation, Elia restores the system using energy supplied by neighbouring TSO’s (top-down) or, if this is not available, by relying on services supplied by market parties within the Belgian system (bottom-up).

During a “bottom-up” reconstruction, Elia specifically uses generation units with “Black Start” capability to re-energise the system. These power-generating units are capable of starting up without an external electricity supply and re-energising the grid. 

Elia procures this “Black Start” service from RSPs.

Providing restoration services to Elia

The supply of restoration services to Elia is governed by a contract between Elia and the supplier concerned. This “restoration services contract” (or RSP contract) defines the rules and specifications for the delivery of the “Black Start” service.

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