Press Releases

21 February 2019

SuedLink: Ready for the final decision on the corridor route

  • TenneT and TransnetBW present the results of detailed studies of corridor variants
  • Underground cable corridor is supposed to run from Schleswig-Holstein through western Lower Saxony, northern Hesse and southern Thuringia to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg
  • Citizen information on site as of end of March 2019
  • Federal Network Agency decision on SuedLink route expected by end of 2019

Bayreuth, Stuttgart, 21 February 2019. Today, the transmission system operators TenneT and TransnetBW presented the proposed corridor for the direct current connection SuedLink, which they will submit to the Federal Network Agency at the end of February for its decision. This corridor is the result of detailed studies and is supposed to run from Schleswig-Holstein through western Lower Saxony, northern Hesse and southern Thuringia to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

“With the detailed studies of the possible corridor variants, we have now identified a specific underground cable corridor that has the smallest possible impact on humans and nature. This puts us on the final stretch toward finalising the actual corridor route of SuedLink,” said Manon van Beek, CEO of TenneT, adding: “The grid expansion requires the support of policymakers at all levels and acceptance within society at large. Both are key for transforming SuedLink and the entire grid infrastructure into an energy transition grid.”

Dr Werner Götz, CEO of TransnetBW, said: “Transparency is one of our highest priorities. We will be living up to this over the coming weeks at numerous dialogue events, offering the public insights into the method established by law and the associated criteria on which the proposal presented today is based.”

To offer citizens, communities and other interested parties the opportunity to inform themselves in advance, TenneT and TransnetBW are publishing the overview maps of the proposed corridor and the grid of all possible corridors on the project webpages http://www.suedlink.tennet.eu and http://www.transnetbw.de/suedlink already before submission of the documents to the Federal Network Agency. Starting on March 25th, the transmission system operators will also be informing citizens locally of the planning status and the next steps in the approval procedure (dates will be published promptly on the webpages of the transmission system operators). The Federal Network Agency will release the documents to the public after verifying their completeness. At this point, the formal participation of the public authority will begin.

Background on the procedure:
In 2017, TenneT and TransnetBW identified an entire network of possible corridor sections that were suitable for a detailed study, including a continuous corridor alternative that was set forth by law. On this basis, the Federal Network Agency established the underground cable corridors to be studied and the necessary assessments. Over the past months, TenneT and TransnetBW then conducted a detailed study and evaluation of these corridor variants – totalling roughly 2,000 kilometres – based on approximately 150 criteria. On the basis of this study, the transmission system operators have now identified the proposed corridor, alongside additional corridor variants (corridor grid), as the option most suitable in their view after weighing of all studies. Based on these documents and the official participation procedure, the Federal Network Agency is expected to decide on the actual route of the SuedLink corridor by the end of 2019.

About SuedLink:
As a direct current underground cable link, SuedLink will connect the wind-rich regions of northern Germany with the consumption centres in the southern part of the country. The connection will be realised by TenneT and TransnetBW. The investment volume will be roughly ten billion euros. SuedLink consists of two measures, each with a capacity of two gigawatts. The measures will start in Schleswig-Holstein in Wilster and Brunsbüttel; the end points are Bergrheinfeld in Bavaria and Leingarten/Großgartach in Baden-Württemberg. The project is currently in the federal expert planning phase (“Bundesfachplanung”) and is divided into five subsections. At the end of this procedure, the Federal Network Agency will define a 1,000 meter wide corridor. Only during the subsequent planning approval procedure will the public authority decide on the more precise path of the underground cable.

SuedLink is a “Project of Common Interest” (PCI) of the European Union and has been established in the Federal Requirements Plan Act since 2012. In other words, the project is critical for the continued improvement of security of supply and the expansion of renewable energy. Furthermore, the European Union is supporting the project within the framework of “Connecting Europe”.

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