BNetzA Receives Application for Major Grid Expansion Project Following Energy Turnaround: 500kV HVDC “SuedLink”

The Federal Network Agency has received the application for federal grid planning procedure for the so-called SuedLink (South Link) power line project, a new 600 to 700 km long 500kV HVDC power line linking Wilster in Northern Germany with Grafenrheinfeld in Southern Germany. SuedLink one of the most important power line projects contained in the Federal Requirement Plan adopted in 2013 following the decision in 2011 to phase-out nuclear power by 2022.

SuedLink shall transmit wind power generated in Northern Germany to consumers in the west and in particular the south of Germany, making up for nuclear capacity in Southern Germany to be shut down by 2022, including a plant in Grafenrheinfeld, which has to be closed by 31 December 2015.

To begin with, BNetzA will examine whether the application documents for the SuedLink project are complete. Only then will the formal federal planning procedure (regulated by the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG)) start. The first step in the procedure 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. Regarding the application Jochen Homann, president of BNetzA, said although it was too early for a detailed assessment of the application, the agency was already seeing the need to revise it, in particular with regard to alternative power line routes. Following the review of the application, it will be published by BNetzA at www.netzausbau.de/vorhaben4 (in the Federal Requirement Plan the project is called “Vorhaben 4”).

SuedLink is a joint project of the transmission system operators (TSOs) TenneT TSO und TransnetBW. The project is connected with project 3 of the Federal Requirement Plan a HVDC power line linking Brunsbüttel near Hamburg with Großgartach in Baden-Württemberg. Both power lines will constitute what BNetzA calls “corridor C”, one of three main power line corridors linking northern and southern Germany. Both power lines shall run parallel using the same power poles as much as possible and be carried out as underground cables wherever technically and economically advisable, the TSOs said.

In the federal grid planning procedure only a power line corridor will be defined. The exact power line route will be determined in the subsequent plan determination procedure that will also be conducted by BNetzA.

Regarding another Federal Requirement project for which BNetzA recently received an application, an extra-high voltage line from Bertikow in Brandenburg to Pasewalk in Mecklenburg Western-Pommerania to be built by the transmission system operator 50Hertz, please see here.

Source: Federal Network Agency press release and further information

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