50Hertz has to expand its transmission system for the energy transition and in doing so wants to interfere as little as possible in nature and the environment. How do these fit together?
— Frank Golletz: 50Hertz is, first and foremost, a technology company. But the technology must be sustainably in harmony with nature and the environment. This is important to us. We have been given the task by politics and society to facilitate the energy transition with our transmission system. We also need to increase our transport capacity. This is being done, on the one hand, by optimising and strengthening existing facilities and, on the other hand, by expanding the grid. This is being done as carefully as possible with the aim of having a minimal impact on nature and the environment.
How can we visualise that?
— Frank Golletz: We have an extensive tool box with industry-standard and new, innovative technologies. So, for example, using so-called phase shifters – also known as cross-regulating transformers – we control the flow of current in our grids. Thus, the uniform utilisation of our existing grid can be controlled and power from highly loaded lines can be redirected to less loaded lines, so the existing grid is optimally used. Our tool box also includes transporting power at a higher voltage. This allows more electrical energy to be transported via existing corridors. In Saxony-Anhalt, we are currently building a pilot line that should allow the corridor for a 220-kilovolt line to accommodate a 380-kilovolt line, without the need to take up additional space. And last but not least: we are proactively building new lines. One example is the highly publicly disputed Southwest Interconnector through the Thuringian Forest Nature Park. We have designed this comparable to a four-lane highway. Currently, two tracks have essentially been released. If the need for transportation increases in the South of Germany, we will expand the Southwest Interconnector to four tracks without further intervention in nature. We will then equip the existing masts with additional lines.