T&D World Magazine

Elia and RWE Planning the First Electrical Interconnector between Belgium and Germany

Belgian and German Transmission System Operators (TSOs) Elia System Operator and RWE Transportnetz Strom are taking steps toward the concrete planning of an electrical interconnector between Belgium and Germany. This will be the first direct interconnector between the two countries. This new direct interconnector will make an important contribution towards developing the European market and will deliver increased access to a diversified energy mix for market participants, including renewables and conventional power generation.

“This increased access should in turn result in more competition in the Central-West Region and in a better utilization of the different power generating resources, including renewables,” said Klaus Kleinekorte, Managing Director of RWE Transportnetz Strom.

“The new interconnector will also contribute towards stable price convergence once the five markets are coupled, as well as enhance reliability and security of supply for the consumers in the whole region,” Daniel Dobbeni, CEO of Elia, emphasized.

The decision to launch the planning phase comes as a confirmation of the positive results of the pre-feasibility study that has been jointly conducted by the two TSOs. A formal decision to actually build the interconnector will be taken at the end of this phase pending regulatory and legislative as well as technological decisions.

Elia and RWE Transportnetz Strom have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a view to allowing this new phase to start. Elia and RWE Transportnetz Strom had already signed a MoU on 6 June, 2007, together with the TSOs, energy exchanges, market participants, Ministries and regulators of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxemburg. This MoU aims to integrate market mechanisms within the Central-West European region. These countries are committed to improving security of supply in the new context of a complex market, with increased cross-border flows and the development of renewables.

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