Icon - Instagram

Improving the information of the local public - the 50Hertz pilot project

The need for information about the planning and the technical processes has grown.

The expansion of the electricity grid is a decisive component of the German energy transition. It also means that many people and institutions expect greater transparency in the different project stages.

For the system operators, this means that local information campaigns have to be improved further and create opportunities for affected citizens, institutions and associations to give the project developer advice and recommendations.

In this context, explaining technically complex themes in an understandable and visual manner is a particular challenge. For instance, many citizens find it hard to assess the possible effects of high-voltage transmission lines' electrical and magnetic fields (EMF).

The 50Hertz pilot project therefore also focuses on the development of communication measures that should render technically challenging subjects more accessible and provide specific answers to the questions asked.

Bessere Information vor Ort – das 50Hertz-Pilotprojekt Improving the information of the local public - the 50Hertz pilot project


In determining communication measures, 50Hertz focused on the direct exchange with the population. In the autumn of 2014, for instance, a mobile information office toured the region affected by the pilot project right after the public project conference. In eleven places along the line, the company explained the current planning stage regarding the line construction project and enabled citizens to ask the expert team questions and offer suggestions.
50Hertz shows which studies are carried out during planning.

During the tour, 50Hertz and the University of Duisburg-Essen also worked together to measure the electric and magnetic fields underneath the existing 220-kV overhead line between the substations of Bertikow and Pasewalk. The main objective was to show the correlation between the measured field strengths and the distance to the conductors in practice.

Information material created in the scope of the project was used to build on these measures. What are electric and magnetic fields, where can they be found and who is the available contact? These and other questions are answered in the brochure on electric and magnetic fields: measure, classify, understand. Where the existing overhead line was not directly accessible, a documentary film was played to show the approach.

Cooperation with environmental associations

The project was furthermore characterised by the cooperation between system operators and nature conservation and environmental protection associations. Jointly organised meetings did not only deal with the course of the project, but also intensively discussed the theme of bird protection during grid development. This made it possible to gather important information for the further planning of the project and integrate it into the ongoing approval procedure.

Tour des Mobilen Bürgerbüros: 50Hertz informiert zum Thema EMF Mobile information office tour: 50Hertz informs citizens on themes such as EMF

Results and conclusions of the project

What 50Hertz concludes from the BESTGRID project:

  1. Early public participation: timely coordination with local authorities and associations helps discuss available options in a transparent and solution-oriented manner and integrate findings in the approval procedure.

  2. Create offers per target group: the mobile information office makes it possible to adequately inform the local population on grid development projects and enter into targeted dialogue with citizens.
    Measurements near lines and the collaboration with EMF experts offer a good opportunity to inform residents on the properties of electric and magnetic fields and to make the theme more tangible.

  3. No one-time effects: the tour of the mobile information office together with other meetings in support of the grid development project form a chain of measures that ensures the continuity of exchange with authorities and citizens.
    It is 50Hertz's objective to maintain and further the sustained dialogue with its project partners that was started in the scope of BESTGRID, even after the pilot project has been concluded.

The experiences gathered through the pilot project are consolidated by the BESTGRID project partners and evaluated together. The most important conclusions are published in the form of a handbook and should be used as best practicies for grid development projects.

Contact person BESTGRID

If you have any inquiries please contact:

Dr. Danuta Kneipp

Head of Public participation

Dr. Danuta Kneipp
Tel: +49 30 5150-2198
Fax: +49 30 5150-3112
E-Mail: danuta.kneipp@50hertz.com

The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EACI nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.