09 Feb 2024, 13:07
Franca Quecke

Germany’s north-south power line SuedWestLink will extend to Bavaria

Clean Energy Wire

The planned high-voltage power line SuedWestLink, which is intended to transport renewable energy from the windy north of the country to industrial centres in the south, will have a direct branch to Bavaria, and not only to its neighbouring state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the Bavarian economy ministry said. According to a press statement, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) had updated its plan for electricity network expansion in Bavaria, aiming to create a branch from the SuedWestLink to make renewable electricity also usable in Bavaria. Only the two direct current lines of SuedLink and SuedOstLink were supposed to facilitate the transport of green energy to Bavaria so far. A third major power connection has been under discussion for some time.

"Until now, the Federal Network Agency had a planning horizon until 2037,” Bavaria’s economy minister Hubert Aiwanger from the Free Voters party commented in a press statement. The agency would now plan ahead until 2045 “to achieve a climate-neutral power supply by then,” Aiwanger said, adding that this would change the plans for the expansion of the power grid in the Bavarian district of Lower Franconia. The SuedWestLink line was supposed to continue through Lower Franconia to Baden-Wuerttemberg, with the planned branch to Bavaria bringing an additional transmission capacity of two gigawatts (GW) to the state, roughly equalling the capacity of two nuclear power plants. Commissioning could probably take place in the course of the 2030s.

The expansion of the country’s power grid has stalled for several years, primarily due to heavy resistance from local residents and other interest groups, who have held up the implementation of the crucial energy transition project with lawsuits and protests. Resistance to the infrastructure project has been especially fierce in Bavaria, with the state government insisting for a long time that the main transmission line be built outside its own territory. This is despite Bavaria lacking a sizeable wind power production capacity itself, meaning the state depends on supply from other states in the north that have made more progress in renewables expansion.

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