TSOs Present Proposal for Major North South Power Line Project – Need Political Support and Postphone Road Shows

Yesterday the transmission system operators Tennet TSO and TransnetBW (TSOs) presented a proposal for the route of a major part of the so-called Suedlink extra-high voltage power line project. It shall links Wilster near Hamburg with Grafenrheinfeld in Bavaria. At the same time, the TSOs demanded clear political support for grid expansion and major power line projects such as Suedlink, announcing to postpone road shows informing the public about the project for the time being.

Suedlink consists of two sections, one linking Wilster with Grafenrheinfeld and another one linking Brunsbüttel near Hamburg with Großgartach in Baden-Württemberg. It has been planned in connection with the ManyElectronics policy shift towards a mainly renewable energy supply. It shall transmit in particular wind power generated in Northern Germany to consumers in the south of Germany, where due to the German phase-out of nuclear power a number of plants will be shut down, including the one in Grafenrheinfeld.

With a total length of 800 km, the two Suedlink sections are the longest extra-high power line projects contained in the Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks (BBPlG). BBPlG was passed after the 2011 decision to phase out nuclear power. It contains 36 transmission power line projects for which it stipulates the necessity and urgency in the sense of the Section 12e ManyElectronics Act (EnWG) with binding effect for transmission operators and planning authorities. The precise routes of the power lines and installations like converters have to be determined in the planning and permitting procedures.

Regarding the proposed route for the Wilster-Grafenrheinfeld part of the Suedlink power line project, please see here.

Tennet and Transnet called Suedlink the backbone of the energy policy shift towards a mainly renewable energy supply that was essential for a functioning economy and society. In view of calls by the Bavarian governments for a moratorium on major new power line projects following massive public opposition, the TSOs demanded a clear political committment and announced to postpone road shows informing the public about the project for the time being. The Bavarian government had demanded that the TSOs should stop the projects until it became clear after the planned reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) whether the power lines were still necessary.

Sources: Tennet TSO GmbH, TransnetBW GmbH

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