Legal framework and guidelines

Demand-oriented grid expansion is part of our statutory duty as a transmission system operator. The expansion requirements with regard to individual power lines arise from the Energy Grid Expansion Act (EnLAG) on the one hand, and from the German Federal Requirements Plan Act (BBPlG) on the other. These laws define fixed points such as the starting and end points of urgently needed power line construction projects.

In order to determine concrete routes, the interests of, for instance, nature conservation, affected residents and property owners must be taken into account – and also the corresponding legal basis, such as the Federal Immission Control Act or the Federal Nature Conservation Act. Our planning principles aim to minimise the effects of grid expansion on people, nature and the environment. In addition, this is verified by extensive environmental audits .

Responsible authorities

The Energy Industry Act (EnWG) and the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG) regulate official responsibilities: The Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) conducts federal sectoral planning (Bundesfachplanung) and planning approval (Planfeststellung) in accordance with NABEG for projects set out in the BBPlG that cross federal state (Länder) borders. According to EnWG, all other projects organised under BBPlG and EnLAG are the responsibility of the state (Land) authorities. Instead of federal sectoral planning, the state authorities usually conduct a regional planning procedure (ROV).

Opportunities to participate at every stage

Participation opportunities for citizens and the authorities and public agencies concerned (what are known as the “public interest bodies”) are also prescribed by law – as are the individual steps towards grid expansion . In this way, they create the basis for legally compliant, transparent, efficient and environmentally compatible expansion of the transmission grid and its upgrading. In the case of our projects, we aim to involve the public as early as possible, even beyond the scope required by law.

More information on the legal framework of grid expansion can be found at