First companies connected to unique virtual power grid at Schiphol Trade Park

  14 April 2022  |    News

SADC has reached an important milestone at its business park, Schiphol Trade Park, in the realisation of a unique local virtual power network. The launch of Energy Collective Schiphol Trade Park was held in Hoofddorp on Thursday 14 April, and four of the six current members were connected live to the network. 

The virtual grid solves the temporary shortage of power transmission capacity in the Schiphol region. This solution has been realised thanks to intensive cooperation between SADC, companies at Schiphol Trade Park, grid manager Liander and technology company Spectral. Once connected, the companies within the collective share the available power capacity with each other using smart technology.

Smart distribution by virtual network

SADC took the initiative to create this sustainable solution in 2020, in order to optimise the business climate for its customers. The virtual network enables companies without power capacity to use the spare power of other companies with capacity. Arnoud van der Wijk, Project Manager of SADC says, “There is ‘free space’ available at times when the capacity in the power grid is under-utilised. By measuring supply and demand within the virtual grid in real time, connected companies can distribute the available capacity among themselves and thus make optimal use of it. In this way, up to 90 percent of the power demand of all companies (with and without capacity) can simply be supplied from the grid.”

At peak times, the available grid capacity is supplemented with power from batteries, generated by solar panels or from other sources, and – if there is no other option – with power from generators. Spectral’s smart-grid platform uses real-time measurements and smart control to ensure that maximum use is made of the available grid capacity.

Innovative thinking in times of scarcity

The high demand for electricity in the Netherlands leads to bottlenecks on the national grid. It often takes longer to expand the grid that it does to construct infrastructure requiring power, such as a business park. Huibert Baud, Director of Customer & Design at Liander says, “We are doing everything we can to connect our customers to the grid in time. In the collaboration with SADC, Liander is exploring new ways to find more space on the existing grid together with other parties.” At the same time, Liander is working hard to expand the grid so that the required capacity will be available in the future.

As a member of the Provincial Executive for Noord-Holland, Edward Stigter is responsible for the portfolios of Climate and Energy, and chairs the province’s Taskforce for Energy Infrastructure, which provided funding for the virtual grid. With Eva Klein Schiphorst (managing director of SADC) and Huibert Baud (Liander), Stigter symbolically unveiled the virtual network at Schiphol Trade Park. “I’m proud of this collaboration between SADC, the grid manager and, last but not least, the companies themselves,” he remarked. “Together they have taken responsibility for finding a solution to a pressing bottleneck on the electricity network. We as the Taskforce are pleased to support this.”


Current members of the collective are IntercityHotel Amsterdam AirportIntralox LLC EuropeJoulz (on behalf of Intospace), Nippon ExpressSEGRO and VerusSol (in collaboration with Mirastar). More members will join soon.