TenneT increases German offshore grid investment to $22bn

Grid operator TenneT said on Wednesday it has increased planned investments in its German grid by about $4.1bn, bringing its total investment budget for the next decade to $22bn.

The Dutch state-owned company now owns 40 per cent of the German electricity grid.

TenneT's offshore investments focus on laying a network of subsea cables to connect windmills to shore, as well as convertor stations that convert their direct-current power to the alternate current used in homes.
The company said it is expected to deliver 8 GW of connection capacity for wind farms on the German part of the North Sea this year and the years to come.

Reuters reports that TenneT has also taken the first steps - with partner TransnetBW - towards the development of the 800 km direct current SuedLink line, which will provide combined capacity of 4 GW to ship power from the windy north to Germany's industrial south.

A TenneT spokesman said that the possibility of forming cross-shareholding alliances with other European Transmission System Operators (TSOs) could help further integration of Europe's energy market.

TenneT chief executive Mel Kroon told Reuters in November that the most obvious candidate for a cross-shareholding would be Belgium's Elia, which in 2010 bought a 9,800 km east German grid from Sweden's Vattenfall.

Elia's grid borders TenneT's and a linkup would create a contiguous electricity platform. Another prime linkup candidate would be Amprion, whose 11,000 km west German network is surrounded on three sides by TenneT's grids.

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