The systematic and forward-looking planning of offshore electricity grids in the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is unique in Europe. Since the decisions of the Federal Government on the system change in June 2011, the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) has had the task, on the basis of the Energiewirtschaftsgesetzes (EnWG), of establishing and regularly updating a technical plan for electricity grids, the Federal Spatial Offshore Grid Plan (BFO).
The BFO's task is to combine offshore wind farms in spatial proximity into so-called clusters. For these clusters, the necessary locations for converter and transformer platforms are planned spatially. The plan also contains routes and corridors for (international) power lines.
An important basis for all BFO specifications are the planning principles and standardised technical specifications, which in particular serve to ensure that planning is as spatially and environmentally compatible as possible.
The preparation and updating of the plan is accompanied by a strategic environmental assessment, which has the task of identifying, describing and evaluating the likely significant environmental impacts of the implementation of the plans. Extensive participation procedures were carried out to which authorities, associations and private individuals could submit comments and statements. The comments and statements were taken into account in the preparation and updating of the plans and in the environmental review.
The specifications of the plan must comply with the requirements of regional planning. The plans are coordinated with other spatially important plans and measures and any seriously considered alternatives to routes, route corridors and sites are examined.
The current federal plans and versions from previous years can be found in the column on the right. The task of federal sectoral planning has been continued since 2018 in the form of the Site Development Plan.