BSH

Maritime sectoral planning

Information on ongoing or completed Procedures

Information on the established Site Development Plan as well as on current update and amendment procedures can be found here.

Steering Tool for Offshore Wind Energy and Power Lines

The sectoral planning for offshore wind energy is based on the Offshore Wind Energy Act (WindSeeG) and the existing Maritime Spatial Plans. It contains spatial designations and regulations for offshore wind energy with the associated grid connection systems, interconnectors and areas for other forms of energy generation.

The specifications of the Site Development Plan are binding for subsequent planning procedures. Therefore, the Site Development Plan is an important steering tool.

Central Site Development and Investigation

The year 2017 marked a system change in the field of offshore wind energy. Based on the Offshore Wind Energy Act (WindSeeG), the so-called central model was introduced in 2017. The central model refers to a successive planning, tendering and permitting process. In the first step, the areas for offshore wind energy are designated spatially and temporally in the Site Development Plan. The next step in the process is the investigation of the sites defined in the FEP. The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) is responsible for the development plan and the investigation of sites for the construction and operation of offshore wind energy in an overall planning process based on the Offshore Wind Energy Act (WindSeeG).

After the site investigation has been carried out, the sites determined to be suitable for offshore wind energy are put out to tender by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). The bidders are provided with the results of the preliminary investigation. After the approval process has been completed, the winning bidder can build the wind farm on the site, is entitled to the market premium and may use the capacity on the grid connection.

Task of the Site Development Plan

In the central model, the Site Development Plan (FEP) is the steering planning instrument for the use of offshore wind energy with the associated grid connection systems, cross-border power lines and areas for other forms of energy generation.

The FEP identifies areas for offshore wind energy and power lines in the North Sea and Baltic Sea for the period beginning in 2026. Within the areas, sites and their expected generation capacity (megawatts) from offshore wind turbines are determined. To ensure synchronization with the required grid connection system, the location of the offshore platforms, the routes for the cable In the central model, the Site Development Plan (FEP) is the steering planning instrument for the use of offshore wind energy with the associated grid connection systems, cross-border power lines and areas for other forms of energy generation.

The FEP identifies areas for offshore wind energy and power lines in the North Sea and Baltic Sea for the period beginning in 2026. Within the areas, sites and their expected generation capacity (megawatts) from offshore wind turbines are determined. To ensure synchronization with the required grid connection system, the location of the offshore platforms, the routes for the cable lines within the German exclusive economic zone, and the quarter of the year for the commissioning of the respective site and associated grid connections are determined.

The Site Development Plan can make determinations for the German exclusive economic zone of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. If an agreement is concluded between the BSH and the federal states of Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony or Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Site Development Plan can also make determinations for the respective territorial sea under certain legal conditions.

In addition, the Site Development Plan primarily deals with spatial determinations for interconnectors, cross-connections between grid connections, areas for other forms of energy generation and test fields. The sectoral planning specifications are made on the basis of planning and standardized technology principles.

The Site Development Plan determines the order in which the sites for offshore wind generation will be put out to tender and the wind turbines will go into operation. For this purpose criteria such as efficient use of existing and planned power lines, spatial proximity to the coast, conflicts of use, the expected generation capacity, the expected buildability and the resulting suitability of the area for cost-efficient power generation are assessed.

The plan was drawn up for the first time in 2019 and is to be updated every four years as a general rule or as changes occur. Due to the increase in the expansion path to 20 GW by the year 2030 decided by the German government on June 3, 2020, the Site Development Plan was updated in 2020.

Participation of Authorities and the Public

The BSH establishes the FEP in a comprehensive coordination and consultation process. Authorities whose areas of responsibility are affected, recognised environmental associations, transmission system operators and private individuals have the opportunity to express their views in the consultation process. The comments will be taken into account when the plan is drafted.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

During the preparation and updating of the FEP, the significant effects of the implementation of the plan on the marine environment are also identified, described and assessed.

Spatial Offshore Grid Plan

With the FEP, the task of the Federal Offshore Spatial Planning, which has been performed by the BSH since 2011, will be continued. The federal sectoral plans for the German North Sea and Baltic Sea EEZ and parts of the previous Offshore Network Development Plan (O-NEP) are merged in the FEP. The demand for offshore grid connections is determined by the Federal Network Agency on the basis of the Network Development Plan in the land-based network development plan.