Hansewerk to expand power grid in northern Germany amid solar boom

Author: Oran Viriyincy. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

May 12 (Renewables Now) - Hansewerk AG will pour nearly EUR 1.2 billion (USD 1.26bn) into the expansion of the power grid in northern Germany in the next three years in order to prepare for the expected boom in e-mobility and new renewable energy capacity.

The energy services provider, which operates electricity, gas and heating networks in more than 1,000 municipalities in northern Germany, will invest between EUR 380 million and EUR 400 million a year in the power grid and its digitalisation, it said earlier this week. The investments will be made in cooperation with its subsidiaries Schleswig-Holstein Netz (SH Netz), HanseGas, Hansewerk Natur and ElbEnergie.

The decision for the massive investment plan was made against the background of projections for additional 280,000 electric cars and 100,000 heat pumps and a surge in the feed-in applications for photovoltaic (PV) plants in the region. The number of such applications more than doubled in the first four months of the year as compared with a year earlier, Hansewerk said.

SH Netz, Hansewerk's gas and electricity network operator in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, is working on solar projects with a combined capacity of nearly 10 GW which are currently being planned. Nearly 98% of these projects are for ground-mounted plants with a capacity in the range of 20 MW to 100 MW, or even bigger.

In the wind energy sector, SH Netz is working on almost 1,000 projects totalling nearly 4.9 GW.

Based on these figures, Hansewerk expects the capacity for green power generation under the EEG scheme in the region to double and exceed 19 GW by 2035.

Commenting on the plan, chief executive Matthias Boxberger called on politicians to take measures to ensure a relevant expansion in the network and additional substations. Otherwise, hundreds of millions of euros will have to be paid again as compensation for green electricity that cannot be fed into the grid.

(EUR 1 = USD 1.055)

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