BNetzA Starts Consultation on 2014/2024 Onshore and Offshore Network Development Plans – Main Power Line Corridors Necessary

The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has started a public consultation of the drafts of the 2014/2024 Network Development Plan (NEP) and Offshore Network Development Plan (O-NEP). In view of opposition to new power lines BNetzA President Jochen Homann explicitly called the planned three main power line routes from the north to the south of Germany necessary for the electricity supply in Germany.

1. NEP and O-NEP 2014/2024

Following a public consultation the TSOs presented revised drafts of NEP 2014/2024 and O-NEP 2014/2024 in November 2014.

BNetzA reviewed the drafts drawing also on external expertise. The agency finds 63 of the 92 proposed projects currently necessary, in particular the following three HVDC power line routes from the north of Germany to the south:

  • Emden to Philippsburg (called Corridor A, for more information in German, please click here and here)
  • Wilster to Grafenrheinfeld (called Corridor C or Suedlink project; for more information in German, please click here)
  • Wolmirstedt to Grundremmingen (In November 2014 the TSOs proposed to extend the former Corridor D or Gleichstrompassage Süd-Ost project to run from Wolmirstedt to Grundremmingen instead of from Bad Lauchstädt to Meitingen)

There is opposition in Bavaria concerning the last two power line projects that shall transmit power to Bavaria where four nuclear power plants will be shut down until 2022, starting at the end of 2015 with the plant in Grafenrheinfeld (for more information, please see here).

Unlike the above three HVDC power line projects BNetzA does not consider the HVDC power line project from the district of Segeberg in Schleswig-Holstein to Wendlingen near Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg necessary.

Together with its preliminary review BNetzA also published the draft of an environmental report that describes and assesses the environmental effects of the projects. This includes an assessment of the effects of the HVDC power line projects carried out as underground cables respectively overhead lines.

The public and public authorities are asked to comment by 15 May 2015. Comments will be taken into consideration by BNetzA which has to approve the NEPs and the environmental report.

2. Legal Background

According to Sections 12b and 17b ManyElectronics Act (EnWG), the transmission system operators (TSOs) have to submit by 3 March each year a National (Onshore) Electricity Grid Development Plan and an Offshore Electricity Grid Development Plan. The plans have to provide information on the measures considered necessary for optimizing, reinforcing and expanding the grid to ensure safe and reliable operation in line with demand over the next ten years. They have to be approved by BNetzA. At least every three years BNetzA has to submit the plans to the federal legislator (cf. Section 12e para. 1 sent. 1). They serve as drafts for the “Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks” (Bundesbedarfsplan Übertragungsnetze; regarding the first such plan, please see here).

Regarding the 2014/2024 terminology, please note that on the website of the Federal Network Agency, the 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.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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