BNetzA Launches Consultation on Draft Electricity NEP 2013 and Offshore NEP 2013

Last Friday, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) launched its consultation on the drafts of the Electricity Grid Development Plan (NEP 2013) and the first Offshore Grid Development Plan (O-NEP 2013). The agency also presented drafts of its approving decisions and a draft of the environment report 2013. Interested parties have eight weeks to comment.

NEP 2013 and O-NEP 2013 have been prepared by the four German transmission operators and were presented in March 2013 (for more information, please see our blog post). The NEPs, which have already been put up for consultation by the TSOs and revised thereafter, contain all the measures and steps for an optimisation, enhancement and expansion of the on- and offshore grids which in the opinion of the TSOs are needed to ensure a safe and reliable operation of the grids over the next ten years (i.e. until 2023), giving also an outlook until 2033. BNetza has reviewed the NEPs and informs about its preliminary assessment by publishing the drafts of the approving decisions.

Concerning the electricity NEP 2013 BNetzA is currently considering to approve 70 out of the 90 grid expansion and grid enhancement projects proposed by the TSOs. Compared to the previous year, BNetzA is considering to approve more grid projects aimed at enhancing existing power lines, BNetzA president Jochen Homann said. He added that this showed that the possibilities of grid enhancement and optimisation were pursued before deciding to build new power lines.

The first O-NEP contained all the grid connection measures for offshore wind power plants until 2023 and represented the system change from an individual grid connection of wind farms to a coordinated plan for offshore grid connection in the North and Baltic Sea, Mr Homann also pointed out.

BNetzA also published the accompanying environmental report (Umweltbericht) that it is required to submit by law (cf. Section 12c para. 2 sent. 1 German Energy Act). It describes and assesses the potential impact of the grid expansion projects on the environment. While the basic review criteria did not change, the review was extended, the reason being the inclusion of offshore grid projects. Besides, this year’s report also deals with the effects of underground power cables and contains more assessments of alternatives.

As in 2012 BNetzA will hold road shows informing about the NEPs in six German cities (for more information, please see www.netzausbau.de/infotage).

All the documents can be found online at  www.netzausbau.de/nep ub 2013. Public authorities have six weeks to hand in comments. The general public can comment until 8 November 2013.

Thereafter BNetzA will review the comments and revise its decisions approving the NEPs and the environmental report if necessary. The approved 10-year grid development plan has to be handed over to the federal legislator at least every three years. It serves as a draft for the “Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks” (Bundesbedarfsplan Übertragungsnetze – Section 12e EnWG; regarding the first Federal Requirement Plan, please click here).

Source: Federal Network Agency (press release)www.netzausbau.de/nep ub 2013

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