BNetzA Approved Majority of Grid Projects Proposed in Electricity NEP 2013 and Offshore NEP 2013

The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has approved the majority of the grid enhancement and grid expansion projects proposed in the Electricity Grid Development Plan (NEP 2013) and the first Offshore Grid Development Plan (O-NEP 2013) drafted by the four German transmission system operators. The agency also released the accompanying environmental report 2013.

The NEPs contain all the optimisation, enhancement and expansion measures deemed necessary to ensure a safe and reliable operation of the on- and offshore grids over the next ten years (i.e. until 2023), giving also an outlook until 2033. 90 out of 56 projects proposed by the TSOs for the onshore grids and 8 out of projects concerning the offshore grids were confirmed. 2,800 km of existing power lines shall undergo enhancement and optimisation measures and 2,650 km of new power lines built. During the prior consultation process BNetzA had already stressed that all possibilities of grid improvement were pursued before deciding to build new power lines.

BNetzA emphasised that the confirmation of the NEPs did not yet reflect the energy policy related changes following the change of government in December, e.g. the amendment of the expansion target for offshore renewable power (regarding the energy policy related aspects of the agreement between the grand coalition composed of Conservatives and Social Democrats, please see here). Amendments would be made during the preparation and consultation of the grid development plans for 2014, BNetzA said (such plans have to be submitted every year by the TSOs). BNetzA also pointed out that projects that did not meet approval in the NEPs for 2013, could be proposed again in the coming years.

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 see here. This years decision on the NEPs confirmed the majority of projects contained in the Federal Requirement Plan, BNetzA said. One expected the first applications for federal planning to be submitted soon.

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.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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