Background information 3. Interconnector

Need

The 3rd interconnector reinforces the European interconnected grid

The expansion of the international interconnection is the final objective of the European policy. The 3rd interconnector project is a European priority project. In the Energy Line Extension Act (EnLAG) of 2009, the Bundestag declared that the project was urgently needed.

50Hertz Bild 50Hertz is responsible for the operation, maintenance, planning, and expansion of the 380/220 kilovolt transmission grid throughout the northern and eastern part of Germany.

Line route

Search for sensible corridor

The exact line route has not been decided yet. It will be determined in an extensive coordination procedure: the first step is the regional planning procedure, studying different possible corridors with regard to a possible line route. These corridors are all about 2 kilometres wide. For a possible route between the Eisenhüttenstadt substation and the state border, four corridors were studied in detail.

The different corridors influence the actual length of the overhead line on German territory. This length varies from five to ten kilometres. The environmental circumstances on the Polish side of the border also significantly influence the final route. The objective is to find the best environmentally compatible interconnection point at the German-Polish border on both sides of the Oder.

For the connection of the Eisenhüttenstadt substation, located farther inland, to the existing line between Preilack and Neuenhagen bei Berlin, a corridor to the south and west of the municipality of Rießen is tested.

At the end of the regional planning procedure, the most favourable corridor is usually decided on. For this corridor, the project developer then initiates detailed studies on the exact locations where the route can pass via convenient pylon locations. This concrete line route is then subject to the later official authorisation procedure, namely the plan approval procedure. 50Hertz expects the plan approval procedure to take place in 2015.

Planning and approval process

Regional planning procedure ongoing

The planning and authorisation procedure is still in its initial phase. In the scope of the regional planning procedure, the compatibility with the principles of spatial planning, the existing regional plans and other claims on utilisation are currently being studied. To this end, the competent Land authority, namely the Joint Berlin-Brandenburg Planning Department, initiated the regional planning procedure on 14 January 2013. In this context, the procedure documents were made available for consultation in the municipalities involved. Affected are the city of Eisenhüttenstadt, the municipality of Schlaubetal and the municipality of Brieskow-Finkenheerd. The documents were available at the offices of the three local councils until 14 February 2013.

Part of the regional planning documents are a territorial impact assessment and an environmental impact assessment with different maps. Furthermore, 50Hertz already had a study performed on species protection, as there are certain conservation areas located within the project scope (FFH and SPA areas).

The study scope of the regional planning procedure was already determined in 2011 during a project conference. The Joint Planning Department invited representatives of public interests to define the study scope together with the competent authority and project developer 50Hertz. The project conference took place on 14 December 2011.

The further course of the procedure depends on many different factors. 50Hertz currently estimates that the spatial planning procedure will be concluded in 2014. Then, 50Hertz can start determining the exact route planning and prepare the final plan approval procedure.

The plan approval procedure will be carried out by a different authority of the Land Brandenburg: the State Office for Mining, Geology and Raw Materials (LBGR) in Cottbus. At present, 50Hertz estimates that the plan approval procedure will continue into 2015. The actual construction should then take place in 2016.