In recent years, Statnett has worked on plans to upgrade the Sauda – Samnanger power line from 300 kV voltage to 420 kV to increase the transmission capacity on this section. Recent analyses show that the capacity can be sufficiently increased through some simple measures on the Blåfalli – Mauranger section, whereas a retrofit may be necessary on the Mauranger – Samnanger section. Consequently, from the spring of 2016, Statnett has continued the work with a somewhat reduced project, called the Mauranger – Samnanger project.
The development of renewable energy production, consumption growth in cities and industry and increased power trading with other countries will change the transmission patterns in the Norwegian transmission grid. This will increase the need for transmission capacity in the transmission grid between Sauda in Rogaland and Samnanger in Hordaland.
A 300-kilovolt (kV) power line currently runs from Statnett's substation in Sauda to the substations Blåfalli and Mauranger in Kvinnherad municipality, and from Mauranger to the substation in Samnanger.
Statnett's previous analyses showed that the best way for society to increase the transmission capacity will be to convert the current 300 kV power line to an operating voltage of 420 kV.
An updated assessment now shows that the development of small-scale power in Hordaland is likely to be significantly lower than previously assumed. This is one of the reasons why the need for transmission capacity is not increasing as much as previously assumed and why Statnett is now adjusting its plans for the power line. Initially, the Blåfalli - Mauranger section will be upgraded to be able to withstand a somewhat higher temperature (80 °C). This will be done on the present line, within the applicable licence. Over the next few years, no measures or changes will be implemented on the Sauda - Blåfalli section, except ordinary maintenance and repairs.
In addition, Statnett will submit a planning proposal and subsequently apply for a licence for retrofit of the Mauranger – Samnanger section. On this section, Statnett will consider moving a section of the power line route and building a new switching station either near Ænes or Fureberg in Kvinnherad municipality.
A planning proposal will be sent to the authorities early in 2017. The proposal will be submitted for several rounds of public consultation.