Press Releases

16 September 2020

ULTRANET: Foundation Stone Laid for DC Substation in Philippsburg

  • TransnetBW CEO Dr Götz: “Here, the energy transition becomes reality.”
  • Secretary of State Feicht: “Grid expansion is crucial for the energy transition to succeed.”

Philippsburg/Stuttgart. At a celebration in Philippsburg earlier today, which was attended by Andreas Feicht, Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, as well as Franz Untersteller, the Baden-Württemberg Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector, TransnetBW CEO Dr Werner Götz laid the foundation stone for the DC transformer substation of the ULTRANET HVDC transmission line. Among the invited guests and speakers were also Stefan Martus, the Lord Mayor of Philippsburg, Jörg Michels, CEO of EnBW Kernkraft GmbH, and Rainer Theobald, Head of Finance Large Transmission Solutions at Siemens Energy.

The celebration took place under strict adherence to coronavirus protection regulations. Dr Werner Götz pointed out: “It was still very important to us to not let this day go by without expressing our gratitude to politicians, partners and the project team who made it possible for us to have reached this point. Because in Philippsburg the energy transition is becoming ever more real with every bit of progress we are making with ULTRANET.”

Secretary of State Andreas Feicht also highlighted the significance of ULTRANET for the energy transition: “Grid expansion is crucial for the energy transition to succeed. The converter in Philippsburg shows that grid expansion is progressing well. Today, we are laying the foundation stone for ULTRANET to become the first of our large north-south connectors in the German transmission system to become operational in 2024.”

“I am delighted that the converter, which will ensure that green electricity generated in Northern Germany can flow to Baden-Württemberg, is being built here in Philippsburg. There are few places that exemplify the energy transition as vividly as this one. After the two cooling towers of the old power plant were demolished in May, we have now created the necessary space for the infrastructure of the future world of energy. It is vital for the energy transition to succeed that other federal states will tackle grid expansion as seriously and forcefully as we are doing here in Baden-Württemberg, with our partners EnBW und TransnetBW.”

Stefan Martus, Lord Mayor of Philippsburg, added: “With the start of construction work for the DC substation today, TransnetBW is taking the next step in the energy transition. Philippsburg is synonymous with the future of energy supply. The town council and administration have always been aware of the significance of this measure for the energy transition and have insisted on keeping the required space as compact as possible.”

“Philippsburg is now one of the homes of the energy transition. We are proud to have made an important contribution towards the construction of the DC substation, by securely demolishing the two cooling towers with controlled explosions. Watching the cooling towers crumble certainly was a spectacle – but in my view it is particularly remarkable that more than four years of meticulous planning for the demolition prepared the ground for today's celebrations”, enthused Jörg Michels, CEO of EnBW Kernkraft GmbH.

“We are delighted that we can contribute to such an important and pioneering project like ULTRANET with our high-voltage direct current transmission technology”, said Rainer Theobald, Head of Finance Large Transmission Solutions at Siemens Energy. “In the future, ULTRANET will not only transport large amounts of renewable energy via long distances with very low losses and high availability, but the connection will also contribute in a big way towards grid control, stabilisation and security.”

The Philippsburg DC substation marks the southern termination point of the ULTRANET HVDC transmission line, which will transport green electricity from Northern Germany to the south with low losses in the future. The electricity flowing to Philippsburg via ULTRANET will be converted to alternate current in the station, fed into the local 380-kV AC grid and transmitted into the region.

In addition, the DC substation can also convert alternate current into direct current, for example to transport excess electricity from photovoltaic plants from the south to the north of Germany. After the second unit of the Philippsburg nuclear power station was decommissioned, the demolition of the cooling towers in May of this year made room for the Philippsburg DC substation.

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