Is German grid operator TenneT violating European Union antitrust rules by limitating capacity from Western Denmark into Germany? Brussels will soon decide.

The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess the situation. The Commission and TenneT are engaged in constructive discussions on commitments to address those concerns.

“Energy should flow freely in Europe so that the electricity produced by a wind mill in one country can reach the consumers in another,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy. “Our investigation into TenneT is part of our efforts to ensure that electricity grid operators do not unjustifiably restrict the free flow of electricity between member states, to the detriment of European energy consumers. Ensuring that electricity interconnectors remain fully open to cross-border trade is essential to achieve our overall objective of an efficient, sustainable and competitive energy market.”

According to a European Commission press release, TenneT is the largest of the four German transmission system operators that manage the high-voltage electricity network in Germany. Transmission system operators transport electricity from generation plants to large industrial electricity consumers and to regional or local electricity distribution operators, which in turn deliver electricity to households and other smaller industrial consumers.

The Commission’s antitrust investigation will focus on indications that TenneT may be reducing the amount of transmission capacity available on the electricity interconnector at the border between Western Denmark and Germany.