This paper describes the decision-making process regarding the siting of a high voltage transmission line in the southern part of the Netherlands by TenneT, the Transmission System Operator responsible for the electricity infrastructure. TenneT started this siting process by deploying conventional decision-making procedures, which have the tendency centrally to pre-scope, and select the technical, spatial and societal characteristics of such projects. Following the resistance of activist groups and local authorities, a new siting process was set up based on community engagement (CE) and the upfront involvement of local stakeholders, so to include new frames and perspectives and by reconsidering the workings of standard procedures. With that, TenneT opened up decision-making processes. In our paper, we will identify the practical and institutional tensions and challenges that emerged from these attempts to ‘open up’. The work is based on an ‘inside out’ description of the case: one of the researchers undertook an ethnographic study of the siting process, while the employees of TenneT directly involved in the siting process have been invited as co-authors, so to add details and the reflections of practitioners.
- Energy Transition
- High Voltage Transmission Line
- Opening up/closing down