TSOs Present Second Draft of 2014/2024 Network Development Plan and Offshore Network Development Plan

The four German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT TSO und TransnetBW have today presented a revised draft for the 2024 Network Development Plan (NEP 2014) as well as a revised draft for the 2024 Offshore Network Development Plan (O-NEP 2014) to the Federal Network Agency for review.

The revised NEP and O-NEP contain plans for the expansion of the on transmission system as well as the offshore grid connections that the German transmission system operators consider necessary by 2024.

In case your are confused about the 2014/2024 terminology: On the website of the Federal Network Agency, the new network development plans are referred to as network development plan 2024 (Netzentwicklungsplan 2024) and offshore network development plan 2024 (Offshore-Netzentwicklungsplan 2024). On the website of the TSOs (www.netzentwicklungsplan.de), the same network development plans are referred to as network development plan 2014 (Netzentwicklungsplan 2014) and offshore network development plan 2014 (Offshore-Netzentwicklungsplan 2014). The reason is that the currently discussed network development plans are from 2014, and in principle cover three ten year scenarios ending in 2024, with one scenario also being looked into until 2034. Below, I will use the NEP/O-NEP 2014 terminology, as I find it more intuitive.

The first drafts for the NEP and the O-NEP 2014 were submitted to the public consulted between 16 April and 28 May 2014. The TSOs received more than 26.064 comments, far more than ever before. 10,593 of those comments have been published on www.netzentwicklungsplan.de so far.

The second draft NEP/O-NEP will now be reviewed by the Federal Network Agency. As the drafts contain several changes, BNetzA has indicated that its assessment will take some time, and will only start its consultation of the NEP/O-NEP when it will have been able to undertake a first review in particular of the changed projects. This is likely to take at least until February 2015.

A list (in German) indicating the seven projects for which the TSOs see the need for amendments in NEP 2014 can be found here. One of the proposed amendments consists of an extension of the HVDC line named project no. 5 in the Annex of the Federal Requirement Plan Act. The power line shall now start in Wolmirstedt near Magdeburg, an area with a lot of wind power, instead of Bad Lauchstädt near Halle, and run not only to Meitingen, but to Grundremmingen/Gundelfingen in Bavaria, where the nuclear power plant units B and C will be shut down by 31 December 2017 respectively 31 December 2021 according to Section 7 para. 1a Atomic Energy Act. Despite the fact that Bavaria needs to replace the power from the nuclear power plants, opposition has formed in Bavaria against the Bad Lauchstädt/Meitingen power line. One argument against has been that the power line would transmit power generated from non-renewable lignite power plants. Whether the fact that the power shall now start in an area where mainly wind power is produced remains to be seen.

NEP and O-NEP 2014 each consist of three scenarios. Depending on the scenarios costs range from EUR 22 billion to 26 billion for NEP 2014 and EUR 17 to 23 billion for O-NEP 2014 in the next ten years.

The second drafts of the network development plans are available online. You can download the NEP 2014 (Netzentwicklungsplan 2014, zweiter Entwurf) here, and the O-NEP 2014 (Offshore-Netzentwicklungsplan 2014, zweiter Entwurf) here.

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Sources: BNetzA, www.netzentwicklungsplan.de

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