27. July 2023
Progress with SuedLink: TransnetBW submits final approval documents for converter construction in Leingarten
- Construction work on SuedLink converter in Leingarten (Baden-Württemberg) has begun
- TransnetBW CEO Werner Götz: “The key success factors are transparency and dialogue, in addition to a professional approach to implementation.”
- State Environmental Minister Thekla Walker: “SuedLink will ensure that people in the south enjoy the benefits of coastal wind power.”
- EnBW CEO Andreas Schell: “The transformation of our energy system must continue to gather pace and momentum.”
Heilbronn/Stuttgart: A ceremony in Leingarten (Heilbronn rural district) held by transmission system operator TransnetBW on 27 July 2023 marked the launch of one of the most important energy transition projects in Germany.
Werner Götz, CEO of TransnetBW, as host of the event, was joined by Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection; Thekla Walker, Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and Energy of the State of Baden-Württemberg; Andreas Schell, CEO of EnBW; Ralf Steinbrenner, Mayor of Leingarten; and Tim Holt, Member of the Executive Board of Siemens Energy, in marking the start of the construction activities.
Addressing more than 120 invited guests, Götz said, “A large-scale energy transition project such as SuedLink requires the support and collaboration of everyone involved – industry, policy-makers and society in general. The key success factors are transparency and dialogue, in addition to a professional approach to implementation. I am very proud of the fact that we have succeeded and that, today, we can hand over the SuedLink hard hat as a visible symbol of the progress being made with the energy transition in Germany, and here in Baden-Württemberg in particular.”
For Minister Walker, SuedLink will ensure that people in the south enjoy the benefits of coastal wind power: “As a major industrial location, Baden-Württemberg has a particular need for large volumes of energy. The State is encouraging broad public participation to ensure strong support for the approval and planning process for SuedLink. That will help to secure acceptance for this key energy transition project. A grid expansion summit in September will provide us with a further opportunity to expand the electricity networks.”
“The success of the energy transition strongly depends on the success of the grid expansion, in terms of both the transmission and also the distribution networks,” observed EnBW CEO Schell. “In this connection, SuedLink is a key element in ensuring a reliable and sustainable energy supply system in southern Germany. One thing we do know is that the transformation of our energy system must continue to gather pace and momentum.”
The SuedLink converter is being constructed by Siemens Energy. The converter halls will be about 20 metres high, and the total building area will be just under one hectare. The costs will run to nine figures. The converter will be put into operation by 2026 at the latest, in order to contribute to grid stability in Baden-Württemberg’s transmission system. This is a separate process from laying all the SuedLink underground cables to provide reactive power. To replace the conventional power stations being decommissioned as part of the exit from coal and nuclear power, the SuedLink converter, in STATCOM operation, will be capable of absorbing or releasing reactive power from the AC grid.
From 2028, SuedLink will provide an underground DC cable connection linking Schleswig-Holstein with Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Converter stations are needed at the start and end points in order to integrate DC connections such as SuedLink into the existing AC grid. They convert DC to AC and feed it into the existing transmission system.
With a length of approximately 700 kilometres and an investment value of €10 billion, SuedLink is the largest infrastructure project for the energy transition. As an underground DC cable connection, SuedLink will connect the wind-rich regions of northern Germany with Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The connection is being put in place by transmission system operators TransnetBW and TenneT. TenneT is responsible for the northern section of the cable route and the converters in Schleswig-Holstein and Bavaria, while TransnetBW is in charge of the southern section and the converter in Baden-Württemberg.
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