Joint public power line planning




TenneT & KWI


TenneT, in partnership with KWI (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen), implemented a set of actions that sought to re-design the standard participation processes. This was done in order to enhance “early” public participation in grid expansion projects, to listen and to improve levels of acceptance among local stakeholders.


  • Identify new route corridors jointly with citizens, by enabling citizens to develop their own routes at the beginning of the planning process
  • Assure maximum transparency in the process by improving the comprehensibility and accountability of the planning process
  • Develop the best route alternatives for the official regional planning procedure including knowledge on local singularities


Main information:

In the past, participation processes did not offer citizens and stakeholders a chance to influence the routing of new lines. With accompanying research and co-financing from the Demoenergy project (a German government funded project), TenneT and KWI jointly developed and implemented a new set of participation concepts that sought to overcome this. These were developed with the assistance of both external consultants and facilitators, and introduced new formats for public events, workshops and continuous planning groups.

The basis of this new concept was to host participation processes in two areas posing particular planning challenges along a line in need of upgrade and expansion between Redwitz and Schwandorf. These participation processes included a set of three public events in each city, accompanied by the established TenneT info-mart format, which allows for informal exchange. A central feature of the participation processes were “Route Assessment Teams”, who held in-depth discussions regarding routing options. These routing teams were made up of a mixture of randomly selected citizens, NGO groups, municipal and forestry agencies as well as representatives from TenneT. These meetings helped TenneT understand the sensitivities and preferences around routing options and provided citizens and other stakeholders accountable planning info and interaction with TenneT.

Additional information:

The conventional format of info-marts as a forum for one-on-one interviews between interested citizens and the project team has been used by TenneT on several high-voltage power line projects and was integrated into the public participation processes. The participatory processes described here included info-marts but went beyond this already established format.


RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

EU LIFE funding support Logo

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.