Feb 1, 2013

TenneT and Europacable want to promote use of underground cables - Acceleration of grid extensions with partial undergrounding

Transmission System Operator and the wire and cable industry start co-operation
Evaluation of partial undergrounding and recommendations for legal framework conditions

Brussels, Bayreuth. The Transmission System Operator TenneT and the European Association of wire and cable manufacturers, Europacable, strive to enable partial undergrounding of extra high voltage transmission lines as a technical standard option in the future. “We want to accelerate grid extensions. This will only be possible with an increased public acceptance. This is why we want to further develop the deployment of underground cables in extra high voltage transmission lines, so that they can be used as a technical standard option in many transmission projects. The focus will be to ensure security of supply.” said Lex Hartman, Managing Director of TenneT. “380kV underground cables are state of the art technology and are being deployed on a global basis. European manufacturers are technology leaders. We want to create a responsible framework to increasingly deploy underground cables in the German grid system as a reliable transmission technology.” said Marcello del Brenna, member of the Executive Board of Europacable.

Hartman and del Brenna stated that it is the intention to deploy partial undergrounding in sensitive areas in an appropriate manner, in order to accelerate the realisation of the pilot projects in Germany which legally require underground cables. Furthermore, an evaluation programme for partial undergrounding is to be created, which will be accompanied by independent scientists. The German pilot projects as well as the Randstad partial undergrounding project currently under construction in the Netherlands will be part of this evaluation. Any future deployment of underground cables will be bound to legal framework conditions. TenneT and Europacable will therefore develop joint proposals for future legislation, following the completion of the evaluation programme. Hartman and del Brenna announced that initial results of the evaluation and proposals for legislation will be presented in the coming months.

About TenneT
TenneT is Europe’s first cross-border grid operator for electricity. With approximately 20,000 kilometres of (extra) high voltage lines and 35 million end users in the Netherlands and Germany we rank among the top five grid operators in Europe. Our focus is to develop a Northwest European energy market and to integrate renewable energy.

In Germany, TenneT will construct a total of 17 km in 2 underground pilot projects in Lower Saxony and in Hessia as forseen by the EnLAG (Transmission projects Ganderkesee – St. Hülfe and Wahle – Mecklar). Furthermore TenneT is currently construction a 20 km partial undergrounding section in the Dutch Randstad region, 10 km of which have already been completed.

About Europacable
Europacable represents approximately 85% of the European wire and cable manufacturers. Founded in 1991, our member companies include global technology leaders as well SME’s highly specialized in the production of energy-, telecommunication- and data-cables. With over 55.000 employees across Europe, € 20 billion of wire and cable consumption in 2009, Europacable member companies have produced some 38 million km of cables in Europe alone. Europacable is registered with the EU Institutions at 453103789-92.

Contact Details
•    TenneT: Ulrike Hörchens,, Tel.: + 49 921 507 404 045
•    Europacable: Volker Wendt,, Tel: + 32 2 706 8735

Position Paper on cables

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