Grid expansion: West Coast Line completed, start of construction for SuedLink

With the West Coast Line having been completed in record time (in mid-September), Federal Minister Habeck now attended the kick-off of the construction work for the SuedLink project only a few kilometres away. According to the Minister, the West Coast Line and SuedLink are two very different projects:

BMWK© Bundesfoto/Christina Czybik

“Finally, we are getting started”, he said at the ground-breaking ceremony for SuedLink. This is the start of construction for the first section of the SuedLink direct current link. In this section, a 5.2-kilometre long and 4-metre wide accessible tunnel is to be built under the river Elbe. Upon its completion in 2028, SuedLink will be 700 kilometres long.

The new direct current link will transport large amounts of wind power from the north to the south of the country. Habeck recounted how the start of construction had been delayed several times. According to the original plan, SuedLink should have been completed in 2022, as part of Germany’s nuclear phase-out.

The construction of the West Coast Line, which was completed on the same day in September only a few kilometres away in the German region of Dithmarschen, had been a much smoother process. The West Coast Line runs along the the Danish border all the way to Brunsbüttel. From here, the electricity is then to be transported on to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg via the SuedLink line. For the West Coast Line, 137 kilometres of overhead powerlines were approved and built in record time. Completion time was five years faster than the German grid expansion average. “What has been achieved here must serve as an example for the rest of Germany!” Habeck said. Compared to other projects the West Coast Line project had been less bureaucratic, better communicated to the people affected by it and better accepted, he explained. An exemplary and pioneering project!
An overview of grid expansion in Germany can be found here (German only).