BBPlG Project No. 30 | Oberzier – German-Belgian border
Amprion and the Belgian transmission system operator Elia commissioned the first direct electricity connection between Germany and Belgium in November 2020. The interconnector is around 90 kilometres long and is called the Aachen Liege Electricity Grid Overlay (ALEGrO). The transport capacity of ALEGrO is around 1,000 megawatts (MW). The line uses extra-high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission technology and was built as an underground cable.
Since 18 November 2020, the connection is available for the European electricity market (day-ahead). Intraday capacities went to the market 8 December 2020. The allocation of long-term capacities started at the beginning of 2021.
For European electricity trading to grow, the grid must grow with it. With ALEGrO, the first direct electricity connection between Germany and Belgium was created, providing urgently needed grid capacities for cross-border electricity flows. At the same time, ALEGrO strengthens the security of supply in the Aachen-Cologne region.
This project is part of the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E). The European Commission supported the project with funds from the TEN-E programme. The project was also included in the European Union’s list of “PCI projects” – as a “project of common interest” urgently in need of implementation. Germany’s legislators recognised this need and added the project to the Federal Requirements Plan Act (BBPlG) as Project No. 30.
Technology and route
The HVDC link requires a converter station at each end of the line to convert the alternating current to direct current and vice versa. The link has been build as an underground cable route between the existing 380-kilovolt stations located in Oberzier in Germany (Amprion) and Lixhe in Belgium (Elia). It has a total length of some 90 kilometres. The German section accounts for around 40 kilometres.