Project brief


  • 500kV DC transmission line from northern to southern Germany
  • Length: 600/800km
  • TSOs: TenneT and TransnetBW
  • NGOs involved via BESTGRID: NABU Lower Saxony, DUH, Germanwatch
  • Expected start of operation: 2022

BESTGRID activities

TenneT organised info markets in more than 40 locations along the proposed corridor and alternatives addressing the overall population – they were partly moderated by the German NGO DUH. Moreover, the regional NGO NABU Lower Saxony and TenneT organised round tables and a field trip for environmental stakeholders and representatives of authorities. They also jointly developed a concept on the early consideration of opportunities to improve the biotope network via SuedLink. 

Lessons learned


  •  Before starting a dialogue and engaging the public in a far reaching participation process, it is crucial to enable all stakeholders to properly engage by providing them with information about the project.
  • Timing: Due to the early stage of the planning, a lot of information (e.g. technical settings, underground cables) could not be provided in detail by TenneT or was often seen as unhelpful. Therefore, third party experts like technical planners, cabling companies etc. were integrated in information events.
  • The big majority of stakeholder groups attending info markets are well-educated older men, living in their own houses. So, when advertising info markets, TenneT is now trying to address younger and female stakeholders.
  • It is necessary to explain the criteria and weighting very thoroughly when communicating proposals for possible route corridors.
  • Traditional “lecture-style” information formats with experts on a podium and the public below do not work. Local citizens have very individual fears about their health, environment and property values. Only personal discussions can help to address these concerns. However, this entails considerable personal effort, time and money – but it is the only way acceptability can be gained locally: in personal dialogue on equal terms.
  • Information needs to be prompt, continuous, first-hand and as personal as possible. TenneT has therefore appointed public liaison officers.

More information

  • For more information about the project as such, consult TenneT's website (in German)
  • All measures planned can be read in the action plan TenneT has published in the first months of the project
  • All information material that was produced for SuedLink in the framework of BESTGRID can be found here.
  • More information about the first round of dialogue events is available here. The second round that was used to inform about the adjusted planning based on received feedback is available here
  • For more information about the cooperation between TenneT and the nature conservation organisation NABU Lower Saxony, click here

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