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SuedLink

Integrating renewable sources into Germany’s electricity grid

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With a target to generate 65% of its power from renewable sources by 2030 and 80% by 2050, Germany’s power grid needs to be significantly updated to accommodate this transition.

The country’s solution, SuedLink, will deliver new underground cable connection to transport wind power from northern Germany to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. At a length of 700 kilometers, SuedLink will be the largest transmission cable in the network and the longest underground power cable in the world.

Integrating renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, into Germany’s electricity grid, it’ll also link with interconnectors to provide cross-border energy resilience. 

The underground cable line is being planned and built by the transmission system operators TenneT and TransnetBW, with an investment of approximately $11 billion (10 billion euros). TenneT is responsible for the northern section of the cable connection, TransnetBW for its southern part.

Jacobs will provide an integrated delivery partner approach to program and contract management, planning and approvals, stakeholder engagement, logistics, technical and other services on behalf of TenneT and TransnetBW respectively.

700KM

the longest underground power cable in the world

$11B

investment (U.S.)

2.3%

worldwide energy demand increase in 2018

80%

of Germany's power is targeted to come from renewable sources by 2050

By commissioning Jacobs and setting up a SuedLink site in Würzburg, we have created ideal conditions for the successful implementation of the world's largest underground cable project central to transforming Germany’s energy system.

Dr. Werner Götz
TransnetBW Managing Director

Clean, reliable and uninterruptible power supply

Delivering new underground cable connection, SuedLink will help to better integrate renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, into Germany’s electricity grid, and also link with interconnectors to provide cross-border energy resilience. 

According to the IEA, worldwide energy demand grew by 2.3% in 2018, its fastest pace this decade and electricity continues to position itself as the “fuel” of the future. Renewables were a major contributor to this power generation expansion, accounting for nearly half of electricity demand growth.

Germany has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% (below 1990 levels) by 2020 and by 80% by 2050. To achieve these targets, it plans to transform the country’s electricity supply system to a wholly renewables-based electricity – curbing emissions and environmental impact and, bringing greater economic benefit and security of energy supply.

The climate in Northern Germany is favorable to wind farms, but in the South it favors solar generation. Depending on weather conditions and electricity demand, SuedLink will be able to transport wind power from the north to the south, and solar power from the south to the north.

 

SuedLink also connects with Nordlink, a subsea interconnector linking Germany and Norway. So, when the sun is not shining, and the wind is not blowing, SuedLink can distribute energy from hydroelectric power generated in Norway, to ensure the electricity grid has sufficient transmission capacity.

The current plan is to have two High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission lines, running for the most part in parallel, between Wilster and the  Bergrheinfeld (known as route 3) as well as Brunsbüttel and Großgartach (known as route 4). 

Jacobs is providing an integrated delivery partner approach to program and contract management, planning and approvals, stakeholder engagement, logistics, technical and other services on behalf of TenneT and TransnetBW respectively.

Once complete, SuedLink will be the largest underground power cable in the world.

SuedLink is the most important single project of the energy system transformation in Germany and also in Europe. This is precisely why steering and coordination play a very important role.

Tim Meyerjürgens
TenneT Managing Director