The KONTEK 400-kV grid connection, KONTEK for short, is a direct current connection between the German and Danish power grid. The name KONTEK comes from the word “continent” (“Kontinent” in German) and the name of the Danish grid operator Elkraft (now Energinet), which operates the power grid on the Danish islands of Lolland, Falster and Seeland and which used to be abbreviated as “ek”. On the German side, 50Hertz is responsible for KONTEK. This high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line is operated at 400 kilovolts (kV) and transmits 600 megawatts (MW). KONTEK is 170 kilometres long and was put into operation in 1995. Now, over 25 years later, the cable has reached the end of its operability. The 150-km long submarine cable, for which Energinet is responsible, has already been replaced. The underground cable along the next 15 kilometres, for which 50Hertz is responsible, now needs to be replaced. As the existing line cannot be taken offline, the new route runs parallel to the old one. After commissioning of the new route, the current one will be disassembled so that only one line remains in operation.
You can find more about the project and the current planning status under “Status”.
The KONTEK 400-kV grid connection is a so-called interconnector. An interconnector is an international connection that connects the transmission system of Germany with the transmission system of other countries. For KONTEK, this is the Danish transmission system.
The course of the entire route between Germany and Denmark covers a distance of about 170 kilometres via underground and submarine cable (see overview map).
50Hertz is planning to install the KONTEK underground cable in parallel to the existing route. This means that the existing route and the new route will run almost exactly next to each other. The current route planning should use the buffer strip of the existing cable as much as possible.
From the landfall at Markgrafenheide, the cable route runs some 15 kilometres over land up to the Bentwisch substation. The course of the line is determined by the conservation areas and existing underground infrastructure. That is why the course of cable routes is usually constituted of straight sections between turning points.
The construction, expansion and conversion of electricity lines are infrastructure measures that affect many interested parties, like nature conservation or tourist associations. That is why the legislator has clearly arranged the processes for the planning and approval, for example in the German Energy Industry Act.
The KONTEK interconnector will run right next to the existing route. For this reason, the project is planned within an already approved area, for which no new spatial planning needs to be performed before the planning approval procedure.
In the second half of 2020, 50Hertz is planning to apply for a planning approval procedure. This requires qualified prerequisites, for instance that the rights of others are not affected and that the project developer has coordinated with the public authorities (such as the district of Rostock). Both are the case here, meaning that the prerequisites for a planning approval procedure are met. Although the legislator does not provide public participation for a planning approval procedure, 50Hertz is nevertheless planning to enter into a dialogue about KONTEK with the parties involved and local residents. The Ministry of Energy of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is responsible for the procedure.
We will keep you updated on upcoming early public participation measures here and in our newsletter.
The large distance between Germany and Denmark is continued to be bridged by means of a high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable, as it has been since the mid-1990s. The HVDC cable runs through a so-called point-to-point connection via an underground and submarine cable, directly between the converter or transformer stations of both countries. This direct connection transports the energy with fewer losses and is therefore more efficient for everyone.
Detailed information on the course of the project and other materials are available on the following page.