In Germany, the use of cable-connected supply channels, e.g. the energy grid, is regulated using concession agreements. A concession agreement guarantees an energy supply company the right to use public streets, paths and squares to lay cables and run the grid. Each community receives a concession levy in return. Concession agreements generally last 20 years. The energy grid concession for Berlin expired at the end of 2014. As a long-term distribution grid operator, we are applying to re-extend the concession.
A competently run, reliable energy grid is more important than ever in the context of the energy revolution. The more than 35,000 km Berlin energy grid has been run for over 130 years by Stromnetz Berlin and its predecessor companies. We have established and continuously expanded it and adapted to the requirements of each era. Our experience brings security. Today, Berlin's energy grid is among the most reliable in Europe.
As well as reliable operation and maintenance of the energy grid, Stromnetz Berlin's responsibilities include extending it to cope with the ever-growing population size and developing it into a "smart grid", e.g. through automation. Every year we spend over EUR 200 million on network infrastructure.
The Berlin region, represented by the Senate Administration for Finance, announced the expiry of its electricity concession contract by publishing the information in the German Federal Gazette and the official Gazette of the European Union, and has begun the process for reissuing the concession.
The issue process is divided into a series of steps: First, all tenderers are requested to provide evidence of their fundamental suitability to operate the grid. Suitable tenderers will then be asked to submit initial indicative bids. After these as yet non-binding bids have been checked and individual conversations have been held with the tenderers, a request will be made for final bids to be submitted. The best bid will be chosen from these using the defined selection criteria. The decision of which tender will be chosen must finally be approved by the Berlin House of Representatives.
In Berlin, the Senate Administration for Finance is the body responsible for issuing concession agreements. It issues expiring easement agreements for electricity and gas in line with Section 46 EnWG (Energy Industry Act) through a transparent and discrimination-free process. You can find out the current status of the concession issue process on the website of the Senate Administration for Finance.