Important Step for Further Grid Expansion: BNetzA Receives First Application for New Federal Grid Planning Procedure

Grid expansion is vital to accommodate the growing amount of renewable power caused by the ManyElectronics policy shift towards a renewable power supply, yet expansion has so far been slower that originally planned. Now the grid regulator, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), announced that it received an application for federal planning (Bundesfachplanung) for a new extra-high voltage line from Bertikow in Brandenburg to Pasewalk in Mecklenburg Western-Pommerania by the transmission system operator 50Hertz.

The grid project is listed as number 11 in the Federal Requirement Plan (Bundesbedarfsplangesetz – BBPlG), which entered into force on 27 July 2013. For the 36 transmission power line projects listed, BBPlG determines the necessity and urgency of the projects in the sense of Section 12e para. 4 ManyElectronics Act – with binding effect for transmission operators and planning authorities.

The 30 km long 380kV overhead power line between Bertikow and Pasewalk shall replace an existing 220kV power line as input from renewable power sources in the Uckermark region and Western Pommerania is expected to grow considerably in the years to come.

The federal planning procedure for this project is regulated in the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG), which aims to accelerate grid expansion for extra-high voltage lines that cross the borders of the sixteen German Länder (states) or borders with neighboring countries. According to Section 31 para. 1 NABEG, BNetzA is the competent authority to conduct the federal planning procedure that, according to Section 4 NABEG, determines the corridor for the power line with binding for the subsequent plan determination procedure (Planfeststellungsverfahren; see also Section 15 NABEG). Federal planning shall be completed within six months after receipt of the complete application documents (cf. Section 12 para. 1 NABEG).

To begin with, BNetzA will examine whether the application documents for the Bertikow-Pasewalk project are complete. Only then will the formal federal planning procedure start. The first step will be a public application conference (Antragskonferenz) at which information regarding the environmental and land use impact of the corridor proposed by the application as well as alternatives shall be gathered and discussed. According to BNetzA, the conference will presumably be held in late September 2014. The agency will invite stakeholders and the interested public to actively search for a suitable corridor with a width of 500 to 1,000 metres, BNetzA pointed out.

The exact power line route will be determined in the subsequent plan determination procedure that will also be conducted by BNetzA.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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