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Need and legal background

Grid expansion in Germany is based on a multi-tiered needs assessment. The requirements are determined by the four German transmission system operators, the Federal Network Agency, being the competent regulatory authority, as well as all public agencies and private individuals involved during the consultation phases. The legislative instances involved in the needs assessment process are the German Bundestag and Bundesrat.

For instance, the project of the 380 kV overhead line between Pulgar and Vieselbach was first confirmed as a necessary measure by the Federal Network Agency in the 2012 Electricity Grid Development Plan. The Grid Development Plan is the basis for the Federal Requirement Plan, which determines all projects that are required to guarantee the secure and reliable operation of the grid.

The Federal Requirement Plan Act was first adopted by the Bundestag and Bundesrat in 2013 and amended in 2015. The project of the 380 kV overhead line Pulgar-Vieselbach was included in the Federal Requirement Plan as Project no. 13. As such, the necessity of the project for the energy supply and its urgent need have been established.

As a project that spans several German federated states, the responsibility for the approval procedure lies with the Federal Network Agency in Bonn.

Grid Development Plan 2030

The first consultation round for the Electricity Grid Development Plan with target year 2030 was concluded on 28 February 2017. The information received was integrated in a second draft by the four transmission system operators, which was presented to the Federal Network Agency on 2 May 2017. The Agency will subject it to a second public consultation round. You can find more information about the Grid Development Plan at www.netzentwicklungsplan.de

The 380 kV overhead line betweenPulgar and Vieselbach The 380 kV overhead line between the substations Pulgar (Saxony) and Vieselbach (Thuringia)

Line route

The current overhead line of about 105 kilometres connects the substations Pulgar near Leipzig and Vieselbach near Erfurt and crosses the federated states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.

Given the higher requirements for the towers and conductors due to the necessary increase in transmission capacity, the overhead line has to be planned as a new replacement. It will continue to connect the substations of Pulgar and Vieselbach and should run along the existing route insofar as possible.

The planning and expansion of lines are subject to standardised and certain legally prescribed principles. For instance, as the project developer, 50Hertz is obliged to study alternatives in addition to the existing route and compare them.

It is currently studied whether rerouting seems necessary in sensible areas and whether parts of the line can be equipped with new conductors. The latter means that in the scope of this grid reinforcement project, the conductors are replaced if the towers are sufficiently stable.

After commissioning of the new 380 kV overhead line, the current one is disassembled so that only one line runs through the corridor.

Authorisation procedure

The project is divided into four planning sections:

  • Section I from subst. Pulgar up to Geußnitz near Zeitz
  • Section II from Geußnitz to Schkölen
  • Section III from Schkölen to Bad Sulza
  • Section IV from Bad Sulza up to subst. Vieselbach

The approving authority is the Federal Network Agency located in Bonn.

Federal sector planning
In application of the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG), 50Hertz first applies for federal sector planning. To this end, an application is drawn up for each planning section as per §6 of the NABEG, in the scope of which many environmental and technical studies have already been performed. The objective of the federal sectoral planning is to determine an appropriate route corridor between the start and end point, having a width of 500 to 1,000 metres, prior to the subsequent planning approval proceedings.

More information on the procedure can be found here.

Early public participation
50Hertz is currently preparing the application for federal sector planning. Even before the start of the formal approval procedure, 50Hertz gathers information from local administrations and competent authorities, nature conservation and environmental associations as well as local residents, in order to include their concerns and interests in the planning as soon as possible.

Contact 380 kV overhead line Pulgar-Vieselbach

Do you have any questions about the project? Please contact:

Public participation


Tel: +49 30 5150-3421
Fax: +49 30 5150-3112
E-Mail: maximilian.schulze-vorberg@50hertz.com