The “compactLine” pilot route at the substation Jessen/Nord in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt makes visible progress. With all pylons erected and the traverses installed, TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), now has started to equip the towers with cables. The unconventional “compactLine” is more than just a new design: The pylons are lower and the corridor width smaller than with conventional lines. This significantly reduces the impact on the environment and increases public acceptance.
As many components had to be especially developed for “compactLine”, it took three years of preliminary studies before the 380kV line was ready for the field trial. Mike Wildgrube, project manager for “compactLine” at 50Hertz, expects the cable work to be completed in a few weeks and the line commissioning in the second half of the year. The monitoring phase for the pilot line will take at least a year to thoroughly investigate how the individual components function as an entire system in continuous operation.
Since the very beginning of the project, 50Hertz has involved the public in research and planning and also conducted a representative population survey. The TSO continues this practice by running an open dialogue programme. Besides that, the TSO received several groups of visitors on the construction site on 5 June. Among them were not only delegations of other network operators, business associations, administration or politics, but also representatives of the German environmental organisation NABU and citizen interest groups.