Berlin – Electricity transmission system operator 50Hertz is reviewing the judgement of the Federal Administrative Court on the Uckermark Line and is studying possible solutions to comply with the court decision. Earlier today, 50Hertz stated that it is still committed to the urgently needed Uckermark Line and will revise the application for a planning approval decision accordingly. The reason for this is the argumentation by the Federal Administrative Court regard-ing the judgement on the planning approval decision for the Uckermark Line made on 21 January 2016. The court deemed the planning approval decision invalid and in need of revision.
The Federal Administrative Court sees a need for improvement of the assess-ment of the environmental impact of the Uckermark Line on the affected Euro-pean bird protection areas. The partially new route for the Uckermark Line by-passes large parts of the Schorfheide-Chorin biosphere reserve near An-germünde, but still affects the large designated bird protection areas Randow-Welse-Bruch, Schorfheide-Chorin and Unteres Odertal.
On the other hand, the court rejected all other points of criticism by the joint petitioners led by Nabu Brandenburg. It saw no reason to challenge the route of the Uckermark overhead line. This equally applies to the immission protection studies with regard to sound as well as electrical and magnetic fields.
In the months to come, 50Hertz will therefore research how the bird impact risk can be determined for specific species and how it affects the relevant popula-tion in the scope of the supplementary planning procedure that has become necessary. The focus lies on certain nocturnal nesting bird species in particular. According to the court, the research results previously presented in the impact assessment were lacking in detail. Furthermore, 50Hertz seeks to talk with re-gional experts and stakeholders.
50Hertz will submit the revised planning documents to the Brandenburg State Office for Mining, Geology and Raw Materials (LBGR) in Cottbus. 50Hertz esti-mates that the complementary studies, the revision of the application and the subsequent supplementary planning procedure will take one to two years. If a legally valid planning approval decision follows, construction will take another two to three years, so that the commissioning of the Uckermark Line cannot be expected before 2020.
Information on the Uckermark Line:
The 115 kilometres of the Uckermark Line will connect the substations of Bertikow in the north of Brandenburg and Neuenhagen in the north-east of Ber-lin via an important interconnector to the Polish grid at Vierraden. The new line will replace an old 220-kV line that currently runs straight through the Schorf-heide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve. Planning for the new overhead line com-menced in 2005. The line was already part of the first grid studies of the Ger-man Energy Agency (dena) and the Trans-European Energy Network Intercon-nection Programme of 2006/2007, and was included in the Power Grid Expan-sion Act (EnLAG) in 2009 as a project of national importance. Accordingly, the Uckermark Line is of singular importance for the connection of wind turbines in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. It is intended to transport the renewable energy from the windswept north to the load centres in the south. The renewed Uckermark Line is also of central importance to the con-struction of phase shifter transformers at the interconnection points with East-ern Europe and was included in the European list of Projects of Common Inter-est (PCI) in 2013.
With over 950 collaborators, 50Hertz handles the operation and the expansion of the trans-mission system. Furthermore, the company is responsible for the management of the over-all electrical system throughout the German Länder of Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. As transmission system operator active in the Central European market, 50Hertz is responsible for the se-cure integration of renewable energy, the development of the European electricity market and for maintaining a high level of security of supply. Since 2010, Belgian grid operator Elia and Australian infrastructure fund IFM Investors are shareholders of 50Hertz, holding stakes of 60% and 40% respectively. As a European transmission system operator, 50Hertz is part of the Elia Group and a member of ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission Sys-tem Operators for Electricity.
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