Possibility of Citizen Participation in Power Line Project

The transmission system operator Tennet TSO GmbH wants to raise up to EUR 40 million in capital from private investors for the construction of a new 380 kV West Coast power line.

The idea is supported by the state government, a coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD) and Alliance ’90/The Greens. The SPD state premier called financial citizen participation in the power line project an excellent idea.

In October 2012 Conservative Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier had already suggested to raise public acceptance for the much needed new power lines in Germany by offering the public the possibility to invest. Such investments should be possible with small amounts of money for which an interest rate of 5% could be paid, he said at the time.

Overcoming obstacles to grid construction was indeed an important motive for Tennet’s plans, FAZ said. The paper quoted Mr Hartmann as saying it was not Tennet’s main motive to raise capital for the 150 km power line from Niebüll to Brunsbüttel, but to involve citizens that are directly affected by the project.

Tennet expects to be starting to offer shares in the project in the second quarter, after clearance from the financial supervisory authorities.

Sources: Tennet, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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