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).
The black-start services that RSPs deliver to Elia and the Belgian electricity system follow a particular design. The production units used for these services comply with specific technical requirements. In return for keeping the service available at all times, Elia compensates its providers.

Providing restoration services to Elia

Specifically, Elia uses power units with black-start capability to restore the system. These power-generating modules are capable of starting up without an external electricity supply and re-energising the grid. Elia procures such restoration services from RSPs.

Five black-start services contracted until 31 December 2020

Next procurement round planned for early 2020.

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