Environmental considerations in project planning

In the planning of new installations, we devote special attention to preserving endangered and vulnerable species, and to safeguarding protected areas. Before applying for a licence, we establish the scope and impact of various solutions on nature and biological diversity. In addition, we work to determine whether the need for new transmission capacity could be covered with only limited exploitation of new areas of countryside. Part of our strategy is always to evaluate whether we could meet requirements through improved utilisation of existing power facilities.

In addition, we always seek to identify solutions that provide an aesthetically appropriate fit with the environment. By using laser scanning technology and three-dimensional modelling of the terrain, we can choose cable routes that show consideration for the form and nature of the landscape. Moreover, measures may have to be implemented to reduce the visual impact on some sections. This may, for instance, involve camouflaging lines, pylons and isolators.

Environmental consideration during the construction phase

During the construction phase, environmental considerations are followed up through the imposition of environmental requirements on contractors, and the associated inspections. For example, we have prepared guidelines for terrain management, which you can find in the document list further down on this page.

For major development projects, we draw up an environmental, transport and construction plan (ETCP) that sets out environmental considerations and remedial actions. The specific environmental considerations are defined by the areas in which we are building. In built-up areas, we implement measures to reduce noise, for example, and to protect vulnerable road users. In the countryside, our measures are more targeted towards preserving natural diversity, protected areas and cultural heritage sites. This may involve restrictions on construction activities in particularly sensitive periods – during the nesting season for endangered and vulnerable species of birds, for example, and the calving season for wild reindeer. Measures such as restricting felling and limiting or even stopping ground transportation may also be implemented with a view to reducing impact in significant nature areas.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) follows up on requirements in both licences and ETCPs – for example through monitoring during the construction phase and subsequent to completion.

Environmental requirements are transferred from the planning and construction phases to the operations phase, where requirements and obligations are followed up through the Statnett management system.