German onshore grid plan takes shape

3 HVDC lines to transfer offshore wind power south

Approval of a blueprint for developing Germany's onshore electricity network in order to distribute offshore wind-generated power was announced today by federal network agency, Bundesnetzagentur (BNA).

The plan outlines the new power lines that will need to be build to link offshore wind generation from northern German to urban and industrial electricity load centres in the middle and south of the country.

Drawn up by Germany's four transmission system operators (TSOs) and subject to substantial consultation processes - including analysis of 3,300 comments, mainly from interested private individuals - the Network Development Plan 2012 (NDP2012) has been delivered to the federal economy ministry, accompanied by an environment impact report were.

The next step will be preparation of a law to be presented to Germany’s federal parliament in order to grant legal status to the plan.

Since drafting of the NDP2012 began last year, perceived requirements for a secure and reliable network operation through to 2022 have been trimmed back.  Three, rather four,  high voltage direct current (HVDC) lines from north to southern Germany are now deemed necessary, while 23 of 74 measures proposed by the TSOs have been rejected for the time being, leaving 2,900km of network strengthening measures and 2,800km of new build.

This is "significantly less than originally envisaged," commented the BNA.

The first ten-year offshore network plans for the North Sea and Baltic Sea – designed to link offshore wind farms with the onshore grid - are also being prepared, but could not be dovetailed into the NDP2012. However, feed-in points to shore have been accounted for.

The NDP is reviewed and updated annually.