"We're demolishing about five kilometres of power line for each 10 km of new line we build. In other words, we're demolishing half as much as we're building," says Elisabeth Vike Vardheim, Statnett's Executive Vice President for Constructions.

The reason why Statnett can demolish so much, is that new power lines and substations provide a considerable capacity increase in the grid.

Demolition of the old grid is an important part of Statnett’s environmental strategy.

"Since we started this work 17 years ago, we've demolished 611 kilometres of power lines. During the same period, we've constructed 1173 km of new grid," says Vardheim.

Demolition under way

Two of the largest demolition projects are between Ørskog and Sogndal in Western Norway, and Ofoten and Balsfjord in Northern Norway.

As regards the Ørskog-Sogndal project, 170 km of old power lines will be demolished, once 297 km of new power lines has been constructed.

The demolition work is fully under way now in Northern Norway.

"The new 150 km power line between Ofoten and Balsfjord was just finished, and we've made good progress here demolishing the old, superfluous grid. In total, we'll be demolishing 100 km of power lines," says Vardheim.

"After a few years, there will be no trace of the old power line, and you'll no longer be able to see that it was there," says Vardheim.

In addition to freeing up large areas, it is also beneficial to demolish the power lines out of consideration for health, safety and the environment (HSE):

"There have been a number of landslides affecting pylons and resulting in operating issues on this section. The fact that we're now demolishing these power lines is therefore good as regards the safety of our operational personnel," says Statnett's Elisabeth Vike Vardheim.