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umlaut energy GmbH – Part of Accenture

Building Information Modelling (BIM) in power grid expansion

Description of the company

umlaut, part of Accenture, is a global, full-service, cross-industry, end-to-end company that offers advisory and engineering services to clients all over the world. Our interdisciplinary capabilities enable us to add value, quality and focus to their organizations and produce.

We are an able and agile group of consultancies and engineering firms. 5,000 specialized experts and engineers provide innovative solutions across all industries and their various intersections as well as serving the public sector and developing organizational cultures, structures and processes.

Our mission at umlaut energy is to shape the energy transition. Our clients are located along the entire new energy value chain and coupled sectors.

Initial situation

To become carbon-neutral Germany as well as the European Union have committed to an ambitious energy transition (“Energiewende”). In addition to the shift from fossil power plants to renewable electricity generation this requires an unprecedented expansion of our power grid.

In Germany alone several thousand kilometers of new power lines need to be built in the coming years to accommodate the changing energy landscape (more generation in northern Germany, more decentralized generation and consumption, overall increase of electricity demand due to electric mobility and heat pumps). The resulting grid expansion projects face many challenges such as dependencies with other power lines and construction projects, a large number of stakeholders, lengthy approval processes and a lack of skilled professionals.

In traditional building construction Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been a trend in recent years to improve the planning, construction and operation of buildings. There is no standard definition for BIM but rather it is a collection of different approaches and methodologies aimed at improving construction projects. The use of BIM in grid expansion projects is still in a very early phase and not yet matured.


Considering the experiences in recent years grid expansion projects tend to take longer than anticipated. If the planned expansion projects cannot be finished on time the electricity grid may become the bottleneck of the energy transition overall and endanger the goal of carbon-neutrality.

To avoid this new and innovative ideas and approaches are needed that prevent delays in planning and construction or even accelerate planning, permitting and construction in such projects. Existing experiences with BIM-methodologies in traditional construction projects can be one source for such innovation.

Aims of the project

The aim of the project is to identify and analyze the value established BIM-methodologies provide in building construction and transfer the identified use cases to electricity grid construction projects. Finally, an evaluation based on the effects on cost, speed and quality is to be conducted and recommendations for the application of BIM methodologies in grid construction projects are to be derived.


Only the application of BIM methodologies in grid expansion projects are considered. Applications in other areas are possible but not part of the project. Other (non-BIM) ideas to accelerate electricity grid expansion projects are appreciated but not expected.

Target group (study programs, skills, interests, …)

Particularly interesting for civil- and environmental engineering, energy technology, electrical engineering, computer science, engineering and management, but also open for others.

Organized and structured way of working as well as the ability to familiarize with new topics quicky are advantageous. General interest in and motivation to contribute to the energy transition are helpful. Good German language skills are required.

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