Line route: corridor wanted in scope of federal sector planning
For the South-East DC Passage from Saxony-Anhalt to Bavaria, a high voltage direct current transmission line, a new, 45 kilometre-long line needs to be constructed. So far, however, only the grid connection points of this passage - its start and ending points - have been decided on. In Saxony-Anhalt, this is Bad Lauchstädt south-west of Halle, in Bavaria this is Meitingen in the Augsburg area. Appropriate line routes between both grid connection points are currently being examined by means of analyses to determine a corridor.
Grid connection points: starting point Bad Lauchstädt, end point Meitingen
Bad Lauchstädt was chosen as the starting point as it is centrally located on the main load flow axis from north-east to south-west. Furthermore, it is integrated in the power grid in such a way, that it has a positive effect on the surrounding lines of the grid region - even insofar as to reduce the power flows to Poland and the Czech Republic. Meitingen was chosen as the end point of the South-East DC Passage.
At these two grid connection points, converter plants will be constructed. These technical installations convert alternating to direct current and vice versa to establish the integration in the existing transmission system. The technical and spatial planning for these converter plants (covering an area of up to 15 ha) is currently ongoing, in parallel with the search for a line route. The qualified range is a radius of about 10 kilometres around the current grid connection point.
Wide corridor search procedure: risk of conflict analysis and technical feasibility
The corridor for the line route is decided in the scope of the federal sector planning. At present, the project is still in the corridor search phase. This means that 50Hertz is studying the established survey area between the starting and end point of the direct current passage for appropriate route corridors, which are made more precise in the sector planning procedure.
The objective is to find a route corridor which is technically and economically as well as environmentally and socially viable. To this end, the entire area is subject to a so-called risk of conflict analysis, which charts the area for criteria that are unfavourable for a route or could make the line's construction much more difficult: examples are residential areas, sensitive facilities such as hospitals or schools, as well as nature, bird or water conservation areas or military bases.
Simultaneously, a bundling analysis is being carried out to search for existing routes which the new line might follow: existing high voltage lines, cross-regional railways or national highways. By bundling grid infrastructures, undeveloped areas can be spared and the effects on nature and landscape can be minimised.
When the spatial planning criteria have been checked, the plans will undergo a technical feasibility study to assess whether the resulting corridors are also technically suitable for the realisation of the direct current passage. The federal sector planning finally lays down the future, binding route corridor. When all aspects of the protection of man and nature have been considered, no technical hindrances may remain either.
Result: preferred corridor and alternatives
With the aid of these analyses, various potential route corridors are determined. At a public project conference, a preferred corridor and possible alternatives are presented. This corridor - but also the alternative options - are then suggested by the Federal Network Agency in the scope of a public participation procedure, and the required study scope to determine the effects on man and nature is established. Subsequently, the results are made open to public inspection. The Federal Network Agency then assesses all positions. In the end, the Federal Network Agency lays down the binding route corridor.