The goal is to commission the approx. 60 kilometer section of pipeline in 2021.

"The grid expansion in Lower Saxony is now gaining more and more momentum," said Lex Hartman, member of the TenneT management, "thus the third pipeline project in Lower Saxony reaches an important milestone within two weeks. These connections are necessary to transport both offshore and onshore wind power from the north to the high-consumption regions of western and southern Germany. "

"We are driving the expansion of the grid," said Lower Saxony's Minister of Energy and Environment Olaf Lies, "Lower Saxony is the wind energy country no.1 and thus in a key role in the energy transition. The expansion of offshore facilities is progressing further, so pipeline projects such as Ganderkesee – St. Hülfe are eminently important in order to improve the transport capacities in Lower Saxony. By 2020, we want to reach the planning approval decisions for grid expansion for all projects that are in the approval responsibility of the state. "

After the Wahle – Mecklar pipeline project had received an important planning approval decision for a 50 kilometer long section at the beginning of December, the start of construction on the project for Dörpen / West – Lower Rhine followed on 6 December.

With today's start of construction of the Ganderkesee – St. Hülfe pipeline project, another building block is set for the success of the energy turnaround in order to expand the grid as quickly as possible so that it can be prepared for the challenges of the future. The successful expansion of renewable energy sources requires a stronger meshing of the three-phase network in order to master the increasingly complex grid operation in the future as well. In addition, this contributes significantly to stabilizing the power supply in the respective regions.

For the construction of the Ganderkesee – St. Hülfe line, TenneT will for the first time test several sections of underground cable in a line project in the maximum voltage range of the meshed three-phase system. Altogether, TenneT is currently planning eight legally-defined three-phase underground cable pilot projects in its grid area, in which TenneT will gain further operating experience with this innovative underground cable technology.

The sections will help relieve local residents and support nature conservation, and have also increased local acceptance.

Since 2013, TenneT has been operating a roughly ten-kilometer three-phase underground cable section in the Dutch Randstad region. The extensive know-how gained there is also used for the benefit of TenneT's German pilot projects.

At present, TenneT has intensified discussions with property owners in several upcoming construction stages between Ganderkesee (Oldenburg district) and St. Hülfe (Diepholz district), as the approvals of the respective owners are required for subsoil investigations, mast sites and cable sections. So far, however, a large number of consents to land have not been granted. This currently complicates target-oriented detailed planning in harmony with the landowners and an effective project progress.

TenneT attaches great importance to the fact that the project serves the overarching general interest and the democratically decided energy transition. The pipeline construction project is legally anchored in the Energy Pipeline Expansion Act and confirmed by the highest court in Leipzig. Against this background, TenneT once again expressly offers to come to friendly solutions with all the landowners and hopes that the parties will return to the common table of talks also because of the high court case law, so that the still open agreements can be brought to a constructive conclusion.