Federal sectoral planning and regional planning

The next step is to find a corridor that is compatible with the prevailing public and private interests. The transmission system operators, as project developers, have to examine several alternatives and apply for a preferred corridor. After careful consideration, the relevant authority will define the corridor to be used. In the federal sectoral plan, this corridor may be up to one kilometre wide and, unlike in the regional planning procedure, is also binding for the subsequent planning approval proceedings.

Federal sectoral planning of the Federal Network Agency

Power line construction projects that are designated as cross-(federal-state)-border or transnational in the Federal Requirements Plan Act are subject to federal sectoral planning. The approval procedure was introduced with the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG). The Federal Network Agency is responsible for this procedure. It coordinates the procedure and involves the public as well as all the authorities and public agencies concerned (what are known as the “public interest bodies”).

Regional planning procedure of the state (Land) authorities

Responsibility for all other line construction projects lies with the federal states. In what’s known as a “regional planning procedure”, which also involves conducting a strategic environmental assessment, the relevant state authorities define a suitable corridor for the route. In the case of existing routes, such a procedure is not absolutely necessary: any adjustments to the route are then made as part of the planning approval proceedings. The “public interest bodies” are also involved in this procedure, which is similar to that of federal sectoral planning. From a legal point of view, the procedure is based on the Regional Planning Act (ROG).

Federal sectoral planning process

As the developer of a project, it’s Amprion that applies to open the proceedings. In highly detailed planning documents, we describe possible corridors and the technology to be used and propose a preferred corridor.

Extensive participation opportunities

Public proposal conferences are held at which the project is presented and ideas and comments from citizens, associations and institutions are discussed. The Federal Network Agency then defines the scope of the analysis to be carried out and determines which documents and reports regarding corridors and environmental impacts Amprion must subsequently submit. This is the point in the process at which the authorities and public begin to play their part. For a period of one month, the Federal Network Agency makes all of the application documents available to the public for perusal – at its headquarters in Bonn and at other suitable locations in the immediate vicinity of the planned routes. Citizens, authorities and associations can then comment on the plans. Anyone who submits an objection or opinion within one month of expiry of the public display period may then take part in the subsequent hearing.

Decision on the corridor

Based on the documents submitted and the arguments expressed at the hearing, the Federal Network Agency makes a binding decision on the course of the corridor. It has a maximum of six months in which to do this. It then once again make its decision available for the public to study, this time for a period of six weeks. The Federal Network Agency also publishes all documents relating to the corridor, the alternatives examined and the environmental impacts on the Internet.

More information:

  • on federal sectoral planning and regional planning can be found at  Netzausbau.de