Energy transition: GICON®-Consult decisively supports 50Hertz with approval management and expansion of the German power grid

"The energy transition does not come by itself" - this is how 50Hertz expresses their thoughts on its company website. To ensure that the expansion of new power lines succeeds, GICON®-Großmann Ingenieur Consult GmbH is supporting the company in the course of a framework agreement concluded in 2021:

- in the search for spatially and environmentally compatible routes (for example, in the so-called regional planning procedure or in the federal sectoral planning)

- in the approval of such a route (in the planning approval procedure)

- during maintenance or minor expansion measures (e.g., replacing pylons in existing lines)

as well as

- during the construction measures themselves (environmental construction supervision / ecological construction supervision).

Within the framework of this contract, GICON® experts have successfully participated in the approval of the Südharz grid connection. Currently, the Federal Network Agency has announced the corridor decision according to § 12 NABEG for the grid connection South Harz (section South) and the confirmation of the complete application documents within the scope of the §8 documents for the section North. The Federal Network Agency has thus completed the federal sectoral planning for the southern Harz grid connection (southern section). The 1000-meter-wide strip proposed by 50Hertz was confirmed and serves as the basis for the concrete route, still to be defined in the planning approval.

From July 25 to 29. 2022, GICON®-Consult will support 50Hertz in the public presentation of the project on a DialogMobil tour along the defined corridor and at a planning forum.

Transmission system operator 50Hertz describes the route as follows: "The confirmed route corridor in the southern section consistently follows the bundling requirement: from the Wolkramshausen substation near Nordhausen, it runs along the existing 220 kV line to Abtsbessingen.  From there, the corridor deviates from the existing line and will follow the existing 110 kV overhead line of the Thuringian distribution network operator TEN to Schwerborn. Following the 110 kV overhead line was preferred, due to existing environmental studies. The route corridor avoids the gravel mining areas northwest of Erfurt, which are valuable in terms of species protection and are a resting place and habitat for many protected water birds."

Measures under the Federal Requirements Plan Act require clear time management

50Hertz is pushing ahead with the expansion of the German power grids and substations. All measures are taking place in the course of implementing the Federal Requirements Plan Act. These projects mean that separate approval and authorization procedures of regional planning, plan approval or immission control law are applied. "Postponing schedules is usually out of the question here," explains GICON® Consult expert and specialist project manager (Permit Control and Nature Conservation) Eric Michel, who is responsible for substation projects. All conversion works on the power grid can only be realized with disconnection times form the respective grid section. These are usually applied for years in advance in order to continue to guarantee supply security despite the measures."

In order to get the projects approved quickly, it is always up to highly skilled environmental planners of GICON®-Consult. It is crucial to prepare all environmental and species protection studies of the potential routes within the given time frame and to engage into an open exchange with municipalities, project sponsors and the public. In doing so, they are in a position to push ahead as quickly as possible with obtaining of permits, the relocation of strictly protected animal species or the search for compensatory measures.

GICON®-Consult involved in further projects

In April 2022, 50Hertz received the BImSchG permit for the expansion of the substation in Malchow (Berlin). For this, the clearing of under German law protected field hedges, the relocation of sand lizards and the search for replacement habitats for skylarks, among other things, could be realized in a rush. "The organization of all measures up to the implementation on site is controlled by GICON®-Consult," says expert Michel.

In the district of Börde (Saxony-Anhalt), a BImSchG application is currently underway for the construction of a so-called converter plant, a hitherto unique direct current transmission project "SuedOstLink" at the Wolmirstedt site. Here GICON®-Consult has managed the preparation of the application documents including all expert contributions for species and nature conservation.

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