Energy transformation: Complex grid expansion requires efficient project management

The expansion of the grid in the midst of the energy transformation is a complex and protracted endeavor, because it requires the coordination of so many participants and projects. Hence the need for integrated and efficient project management. To this end, TenneT works closely with Campana & Schott. 

Starting situation: High costs due to the large number of complex large projects

As part of the energy transformation, the German government intends to shift the production of energy to renewable energies. But most of the electricity derived from sun, wind and water is generated far away from consumer centers such as cities and commercial areas. This means that energy must be transported across the country, for example from offshore wind parks in the North and Baltic Sea to the southern federal states. 

For this reason, it is vital that the German transmission grid is expanded. The large and very complex building projects require a multitude of participants and interfaces between the different partners, which must be organized and managed. They include grid operators, state and federal authorities, construction firms, neighborhood associations and interest groups, as well as engineering and planning offices. 

TenneT also faces the challenge of having to implement numerous infrastructure projects simultaneously, which significantly increases the requirements for standardization or Lessons Learned. The high degree of complexity associated with the grid expansion requires an experienced partner so that e.g. time delays or cost increases can be avoided. 

With Campana & Schott, TenneT has found a partner who uses proven and innovative methods to enhance project management processes so that the designated time and budget targets can be achieved. 

Solution: Proven standards and innovative solutions for efficient project management

Campana & Schott has been assisting TenneT with the establishment and further development of project management structures for grid expansion as well as approval planning and construction planning/management since 2013. More than 30 colleagues from Campana & Schott provide support for operational project management, project management and quality management. They also advise the grid operator when it comes to initiatives for improving processes and efficiency. 

Other tasks include reporting for different stakeholders, such as the Federal Ministry for the Economy, the Federal Network Agency and TenneT decision-makers. 

Campana & Schott assists TenneT at different locations in all areas of project management, which includes managing and maintaining the master schedule for various large building projects that run for over ten years. This is done by harmonizing and standardizing the planning cycles of different sub-projects from the work level to the total project management level. To this end, Campana & Schott and TenneT developed a separate project management tool that is based on Microsoft Project and SharePoint, so that all participants receive prompt and transparent information about the status of the project. This also facilitates the preparation and administration of work packages and scheduling activities.  

The result: Reliable planning and management

“Campana & Schott is a valued partner who helped us make great progress in our projects,” adds Johannes von Schkopp. “In particular, this cooperation enabled us to significantly improve the initiation, planning and implementation of complex projects in terms of the time-related and budgetary aspects. In this way, we promote the grid expansion process and hence a key component of the energy transformation in Germany. We view Campana & Schott as a valued and established partner who leverages synergies to improve project efficiency and target achievement.” 

The continuous quality assurance of progress levels also guarantees the consistent implementation of work packages. Campana & Schott also assists with requests for proposals for key service providers and coordinates interfaces with internal and external stakeholders such as planners and lawyers. The initiation and implementation of change management measures led to the successful introduction and establishment of transition measures within the organization. 

About TenneT

TenneT is one of Europe’s leading transmission grid operators for electricity, with operating activities in the Netherlands and Germany. The company supplies approximately 42 million consumers with electricity from the high and extra-high voltage grid. The transmission lines of the German company TenneT TSO GmbH are mainly located in Bavaria, Bremen, Hesse, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, as well as parts of North Rhine-Westphalia. The company has approximately 4,900 employees, including 2,500 in Germany.