Network development plan
The task of implementing the change in our energy environment, or “energy transition”, is confronting us with new challenges. We must continuously adapt our extra-high voltage network to bring ever increasing amounts of electricity from renewable energy sources reliably to consumers across ever larger transmission paths. Through reinforcement measures and expansions to respond to changing demands, we can ensure reliable electricity transmission at all times. We work with the other transmission system operators involved in the Network Development Plan to design the necessary projects. Prior to implementation, all projects pass through a legally defined series of approval procedures during which the individual measures are examined in detail.
As a transmission system operator (TSO) acting at regional level, TransnetBW plans and implements grid expansion measures in its own control area. At the same time, we are also involved in the planning of the grid at the national and European levels in the company of the other system operators. While the European grid is being extended within the framework of the Ten Year Network Deveolpment Plan planning for grid expansion in Germany is covered by the Network Development Plan (NDP) .
As of 2012, applicable legislation has provided for the creation of an NDP. Together with the other three German TSOs, Amprion, Tennet TSO and 50Hertz, we have developed the “Electricity Network Development Plan 2012”. This first joint plan contains all the grid optimisation and expansion measures necessary for a predominantly renewable energy supply in Germany in the future. To achieve this, the German transmission system operators are proceeding in accordance with the principles for the planning of the German transmission grid . As of the last amendment to the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG) in 2016, the NDP will be drafted in two-year cycles. The next NDP is due to be published in 2017 and will cover the period up to 2030.
NDP 2030 will define future energy transmission requirements between various start and end points for the reference year 2030. It therefore does not contain any information about actual transmission-line routings. These will be defined at the federal planning stage by the Federal Network Agency and in the relevant regional planning requirements specified by the federal state licensing authorities.
The Network Development Plan in a nutshell
Taking up less space: the NOVA principle
When expanding the transmission grid and implementing related construction projects, all German transmission system operators apply the so-called NOVA principle: Only if optimisation and reinforcement of the existing grid can no longer ensure the necessary transmission capacity is the feasibility of an expansion examined. In this way, we ensure that expansion is not considered unless modifications to the existing infrastructure are no longer sufficient to ensure the future security of supply and system stability.
DC technology – More power, greater stability
As part of the Network Development Plan, the transmission system operators provide for the use of DC technology for particularly high-performance connections, for example those that transmit electricity from northern Germany, which is rich in wind power, to the south of the country, which is characterised by high consumption levels. The stabilising effect of DC technology is particularly important here: The physical and technical properties at the DC feed-in points are comparable to those of large power stations. As a result, they will be able to assume tasks relating to grid stability in future, in particular in terms of ensuring voltage stability. Until now, this task has mainly been performed in Baden-Württemberg by power plants located in major centres of consumption.
Grid expansion in line with demand is vital for integrating renewable energy and ensuring system stability in Baden-Württemberg. But we are very well aware that grid expansion will only be successful if it is accepted by the public. The fact that private citizens, politicians, associations, businesses and other institutions have been actively participating in the process is an encouraging sign. Because the transmission grid can only be successfully expanded if everyone works together. We at TransnetBW want to do everything we can to help actively guide the energy transition – in and for Baden-Württemberg.
In accordance with our statutory remit, we are responsible for both planning and building new power lines. However, we are committed to an open dialogue with all stakeholders throughout the project development and implementation process. We strive for transparency and want to make it clear what we are planning and the impact of our activities – and show how local populations, representatives of interest groups, and public institutions can actively participate in our grid expansion activities.
Our Network Expansion Dialogue team is your point of contact for all issues relating to grid construction measures.