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Just in time for winter, with its high demands on the power grids, the new 380 kV overhead line from Schwerin to Hamburg went into operation today, Tuesday 18 December. The line plays an important role in supplying energy to Hamburg, and is regarded as a key element in the integration of renewable energy generated in the north into the power grid. A significant portion of the 75 kilometre route was built by SAG, the leading provider of energy-related infrastructure in Germany.
The last act in the ongoing construction project started in 2008 was the completion of the 19 km long section — the so-called northern line — from May this year. It closed the gap between the line completed in 2010 from the Görries substation in Schwerin to the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern/Schleswig-Holstein border, and in an existing line from Elmenhorst to the Krümmel substation near Hamburg.
"We are very proud to have made a contribution to the timely commissioning of the northern line with our services. With it, one of the first major lines is connected to the grid which has been completely finished in accordance with the decision on energy policy," said Joakim Olsson, CEO of the SAG Group. As a result, there is significantly more transmission capacity available in order to, for example, transport wind power from generation plants in the Baltic Sea to northern German cities like Hamburg. "This increases the security of supply." Accordingly, the project could be used as a role model for the further development necessary to the grid infrastructure.
The successful commissioning of the northern line is, in the opinion of Steffen Bartel, project manager at SAG Transmission Lines in Gifhorn, also due to the excellent collaboration with client 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, the transmission network operator responsible for the north and east of Germany. In a time window of about seven months of construction on the 19-kilometre northern line route, a total of 48 steel lattice masts and 500 kilometres overhead conductors were installed. It was also necessary to convert existing partial lines and to bring them up to date.
Among the challenges of line construction, the Elbe-Lübeck canal and the A 24 motorway both had to be crossed, twice in the case of the latter. "The use of a helicopter and wire cables enabled us to find a good solution to challenges like these, to keep to the tight schedule and to protect flora and fauna at the same time," said SAG project manager Bartel. Construction was constantly biologically monitored throughout the entire project phase to ensure compliance with environmental and species protection.