German power link to treble in cost to $16.7bn

TenneT have confirmed that the cost of the vital Suedlink power transmission link in Germany is to treble in cost.

Ulrike Hörchens, press spokesperson for the company told Power Engineering International, “At the moment we are in an early planning phase and can only roughly estimate the costs for the two DC-projects.  For both projects together we estimate the costs at €14bn to €15bn ($16.7bn).”
Suedlink map
The increase in costs is due to a decision by the government to use underground cable, because of public resistance to overhead power lines on the landscape.

Transmission system operators TenneT with partner TransnetBW are performing the development of the 800 km direct current line, which will provide combined capacity of 4 GW to ship power from the windy north to Germany's industrial south.

In a joint statement, the two TSOs published a new possible underground corridor for the power link, calling the new 2025 completion date an "ambitious timetable."

In response to a question on how much technical improvisation will have to take place to allow for the decision to go subterranean, Hörchens told Power Engineering International,
“Due to our offshore-projects TenneT does have experience in subterranean DC-power lines. Also, we will have some years to prepare for the actual building process which will maybe start in 2021, depending on how fast the approval procedures will be.”

There is some concern about a potential energy shortfall due to the change from above to below ground as around 8 GW of nuclear capacity will be closing in the two southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg in 2022. 

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