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- The Rhein-Main-Link is a 500 km energy route through an underground cable connection that will transport electricity from offshore wind farms in the North Sea to the Rhein-Main region
- Project is part of Germany's energy grid expansion plan, bringing it a step closer to 2045 climate-neutral energy target
- Arcadis leverages its experience in planning and technical advisory, drawn from designing and implementing grid modernization and expansion initiatives globally
September 19, 2023 - A consortium comprising Arcadis and ILF Beratende Ingenieure GmbH, two of the leading global planning and consulting companies, has been commissioned by the Germany transmission system operator Amprion to undertake the initial conceptual phases of route planning for the 500km long Rhein-Main-Link energy route; one of Germany’s key grid expansion projects aiming to supply the country with climate-neutral energy by 2045.
The energy transition in Germany requires powerful supra-regional direct current links for the distribution of electricity from renewable sources. The Rhein-Main-Link is an underground cable connection that will transport electricity from offshore wind farms in the North Sea to the Rhein-Main region. With strong local industry and 5.8 million inhabitants, the Rhein-Main metropolitan region is a major energy consumer with particularly high network requirements. As such, the Rhein-Main Link combines four links proposed in the 2037/2045 Electricity Network Development Plan into one project and is designed to meet the strong growth in energy demand in the Rhein-Main metropolitan region in the coming years.
The Arcadis/ILF consortium will support grid operator Amprion with a technical planning review and route planning services for the Federal Network Agency’s preliminary preference area, with a view to the submission of a planning application and documents in line with sections 19 and 21 of the German Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG). This aims to simplify and reduce the time required for planning and approval of grid expansion projects.
Commenting on the win, Alan Brookes, Chief Executive Officer of Arcadis, said: “The need to drive a global energy transition is critical for meeting sustainability ambitions and securing energy supply in the future, and as such is an important priority sector for Arcadis. We are committed to working with our clients to prepare for and meet the demands of a low carbon future, and Germany has proved to be a real leader in driving forward national change. Projects like the Rhein-Main-Link are game-changing when it comes to preparing for a net-zero future, and, as we continue to grow our expertise in Energy Transition, we are ideally placed to support the delivery of ever more complex and large-scale transmission projects.”
Fred Wendt, Managing Director of ILF, added: “Due to the decarbonization of industrial processes as well as more electric vehicles and heat pumps, the energy demand in the Rhein-Main region is increasing enormously. Together with Arcadis, we are excellently positioned to provide consulting and planning support to our client Amprion in this complex major project with its ambitious schedule. Millions of private households, as well as hundreds of companies in Hesse will benefit from the future wind power connection in 10 years.”
The draft of the 2037/2045 Electricity Grid Development Plan – published by Germany’s four transmission system operators; 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT and TransnetBW - envisages four direct current links in one route for this project. This will bring a combined wind energy output of around eight gigawatts from the North Sea to southern Hesse.
The total investment for the four links is estimated at several billion euros. Completion of the application for planning approval is scheduled for June 2024, with final route planning in March 2028. The first link to the Rhein-Main region is scheduled to go into operation in 2033.
The total investment for the four projects is estimated at several billion euros. Completion of the application for planning approval is scheduled for June 2024, with final route planning in March 2028. The first link to the Rhein-Main region is scheduled to go into operation in 2033.