TenneT continues public dialogue for SuedLink – around 90 per cent of the public’s suggestions have been incorporated into the project planning

TenneT has rigorously continued the project dialogue for the SuedLink DC transmission line. In a series of six feedback info-marts, local presentations were given explaining how the TSOs TenneT and TransnetBW, who are responsible for the SuedLink planning, have incorporated the suggestions from previous public participation into the project planning. In addition, TenneT has published the new proposals for possible transmission corridors in a transparent way online. They can be found here: www.suedlink.tennet.eu.

How the findings from previous public participation were incorporated
Between March and June 2014, TenneT presented the preliminary project plans for the SuedLink transmission line at 22 regional info-marts. During this period, TenneT received more than 3,000 comments and suggestions from members of the public, organisations and local authorities in regard to SuedLink. TenneT evaluated all these comments and suggestions individually and examined each one carefully to determine whether corridor proposals could be developed on their basis, since the local knowledge of the contributors is valuable and helpful for the planning.

About 1,700 comments were spatially related. In addition to numerous comments on the preliminary corridor proposal, there were also many comments on specific aspects such as farms or industrial areas. In more than 500 recommendations, specific corridor proposals were made. Because many of these suggestions relate to the same areas, they were able to be combined. Based on this, TenneT checked 122 corridor proposals in detail, of which 98 new corridors were then able to be incorporated into the planning – i.e. almost 90 per cent!

TenneT suggests that these corridors need to be examined in detail on the ground as part of further proceedings. In addition, all comments and suggestions are being documented for the Federal Network Agency and passed on to it as the authority overseeing the process.

Feedback info-marts and pre-publication of the spatial planning (Bundesfachplanung) application documents
TenneT presented the results of the previous project dialogue to the public in October and November and once again sought out dialogue with the public, politicians and public agencies. Firstly, TenneT published the new corridor proposals and a preliminary version of the 'Bundesfachplanung' planning application on the SuedLink project website. This enables anyone interested to obtain specific information on the findings of the previous dialogue process and to familiarise themselves with the application documents before the start of the permitting process.

Secondly, TenneT conducted six feedback info-marts, namely in Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse. And accepted the invitation to more than 30 public debates and information events. By means of this second round of dialogue events, TenneT explained to the citizens in personal discussions how the proposals from previous informal public participation have been incorporated into the SuedLink planning. The roughly 1,500 members of the public, politicians and municipal employees who participated in the feedback info-marts wanted to know: What exactly are the new corridor proposals? How have the comments from the public been incorporated in concrete terms? What do the new proposals mean for the region? And what happens next with the permitting procedure?

The SuedLink project team answered these questions using maps and information material. In addition, all citizens who commented on specific areas or offered suggestions concerning specific aspects received a written response from TenneT following the feedback info-marts explaining how their comments had been dealt with. This is because it is TenneT’s continuing aim to further develop SuedLink in dialogue with the public and not to make decisions over the heads of the people.