In late October, German federal regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, approved an early start to construction – which has since begun – in four areas of the planned A-Nord power line and also gave the go ahead for the SuedLink connection to the converter in Bergrheinfeld.
The construction work that has been approved for Amprion’s A-Nord 2GW HVDC line totals around 6,000m.
The approval also covers the BorWin4 and DolWin4 offshore grid connections since the projects run directly parallel to one another.
‘Stable power supply’
"Our highest priority is a secure, stable and affordable power supply. For this reason we are accelerating the expansion of the electricity grid wherever possible. This also means that Amprion may begin with construction early in several areas," said Klaus Müller, president of the Bundesnetzagentur.
The A-Nord project will transport wind power via underground cables from Emden into the Rhineland from 2027. From there, it will also be possible to connect to the Osterath-Philippsburg (Ultranet) project which will transport power from onshore and offshore wind farms.
The approval to start construction early applies to the building of a cable protection tube system and all the necessary measures to build it. This includes work to clear a path for the cables, digging trenches and laying cables in a protective tube system, as well as installing the connecting points.
Approval to start construction work early, which is now underway, allows Amprion to start work before the planning approval decision is final. This is necessary where complex and lengthy construction work is involved, the regulator said.
The approved work is reversible, it added, which means the land can be restored to its original state if a different decision is made in the current planning procedure. Amprion must have an approval decision before it can go ahead with any other construction. Approval is expected in 2024.
The approval for a 0.6km section of the SuedLink project means that transmission system operator TenneT can now start construction work to connect the planned converter to the Bergrheinfeld/West substation, the Bundesnetzagentur said.
TenneT and TransnetBW are responsible for planning, establishing and operating the SuedLink. SuedLink will transport offshore wind power from the North Sea to the densely populated regions of southern Germany along the Main and Neckar rivers.
It consists of two direct current lines, which run parallel along most of the route. Only connections between the substations at the grid connection points and the converter stations before them will be built as overhead lines.