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22 Jul 2019, 13:47
Freja Eriksen

German grid expansion at risk as TenneT enforces Dutch control – media reports

Handelsblatt

Dutch government-owned grid operator TenneT plans to tie its German subsidiary closer to its head office as part of a larger restructuring, the Handelsblatt newspaper reports, citing internal documents. In future, important decisions will be taken in Arnheim in the Netherlands, and German managers will be expected to travel there each month. TenneT employees have spoken of a “hostile takeover” and the company’s German workers’ council said it "strongly disagrees" with the restructuring plans. CEO Manon van Beek was quoted saying she does not understand the criticism. “This is not only about adequate grid expansion in the individual countries, but also about a more intelligent, cross-national and cross-sector grid," she told Handelsblatt. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy says it will closely monitor developments at TenneT but would not comment further on the matter. 

TenneT is one of four transmission system operators in Germany. It has said it will invest 28 billion euros in new power grid infrastructure in Germany and the Netherlands over 10 years, as energy transition targets mean more renewable power being fed into the grid. More and more electricity is being generated by wind farms in northern Germany, but there is a shortage of power lines to transport it to large metropolitan and industrial areas in the country’s south and west.

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