The city of Oranienburg's power grid has reached its capacity limit. New customers will be left empty-handed for the time being and registrations will probably not be possible.

The city of Oranienburg is currently unable to supply new customers with electricity. The municipal utilities of the 47,000-inhabitant city in Brandenburg announced this last week. The Federal Network Agency had previously been informed. The supplier cites the reason that the “upstream high-voltage network cannot provide sufficient power for the growing city”. In addition to the city's economic growth, increased influx and the increased installation of heat pumps are responsible for the increased electricity demand.

According to the announcement, the managing director of the municipal utilities, Peter Grabowsky, said that the city of Oranienburg's supply options had been exhausted. “We deeply regret this development. It is very annoying for everyone involved.” We are working hard on an interim solution together with the high-voltage network operator E.DIS Netz. The new construction of our own substation should be completed by 2026.

City has developed faster than expected

However, until this has happened or an “intermediate solution” has been found, no new registrations or increases in the performance of house connections can be approved, according to the message. “This applies, for example, to the connection of heat pumps and charging infrastructure. New commercial and industrial areas cannot currently be connected to the grid and supplied with electricity.” Existing contracts are not affected.

The non-party mayor Alexander Laesicke explained that Oranienburg's electricity needs had “developed enormously”, “faster than was predicted in the past”. We are now working hard not to completely slow down urban development, but to provide sufficient power for our large industrial companies, as well as for private house builders.

Ex-managing director criticized

The decision to build the new substation was only made in Oranienburg last summer. There has been sharp criticism of this, particularly directed at the former municipal utility managing director Alireza Assadi. Assadi's contract was terminated at the end of September 2022 – probably mainly because he was said to have lacked leadership qualities, reports the “Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung” (MAZ). Now Assadi is also accused of not having taken Oranienburg's increasing electricity needs into account and of having reacted in a timely manner with plans for a new substation.

At RBB's request, the Federal Network Agency explained that the network operator is fundamentally obliged to connect those requesting a connection to their network. A lack of capacity is not a reason for rejection. “Network operators have to upgrade their network proactively in order to fundamentally prevent problems with a lack of capacity,” the broadcaster quotes the authority as saying. The Federal Network Agency now wants to contact the Oranienburger Stadtwerke to obtain further information.


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