TSOs Launch Joint Website for Grid Development Plan

The four German transmission system operators (TSOs) have launched a joint website to provide transparent and competent information as well as a platform to interact with interested parties regarding the new grid development plan.

Grids and their expansion play a key role in the new German energy landscape. In it, nuclear power will be phased out by 2022, and energy demand shall be covered by renewable energy sources by at least 80% by 2050.

According to the recently revised German Energy Act (EnWG), a 10-year grid development plan has to be set up annually by the TSOs (Section 12b para. 1 sent. 1 and 2). The plan shall provide information regarding the need for optimising and reinforcing the grid as well as its expansion. The 10-year grid development plan will be handed over to the federal legislator. It shall serve as a draft for the “Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks” (Bundesbedarfsplan Übertragungsnetze).

Scenarios for future grid expansion, which have to be provided by the transmission system operators annually, serve as the basis for setting up the 10-year grid development plan. In preparation for the first grid development plan to be presented on 3 June 2012, the German grid regulator, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), recently presented three scenarios for future grid expansion drafted by TSO for consultation and published comments relating thereto.

The new website gives comprehensive information regarding the whole process described above (Thus far, the information is only available in German). In 2012 the TSOs will publish the grid development plan online. Thereafter the public can comment online as well.

Appproximately 3,600 km of new extra high voltage lines are needed until 2020 according to the German Energy Agency (dena). The agency is currently in the process of conducting a study regarding the need for modernisation and expansion of the German distribution networks. However despite the fact that certain extra-high voltage power line projects receive priority under the Energieleitungsausbaugesetz (EnLAG) and the new Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG) also intends to speed up grid expansion, projects are often hampered by legal action brought against them. In August Tennet, one of the TSOs, filed legal action with the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig to get the necessary plan determination procedure started for a new 380 kV line. Therefore the launch of the new website may help to communicate grid expansion in an open and transparent way.

Source: Netzentwicklungsplan Strom

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