The NVE will initiate consultation procedures to determine what alternative should be further explored and which consequences should be assessed.
The power line that Statnett wants to upgrade was built in 1968 for 300 kilovolts (kV). Now it is necessary to increase the capacity on the Mauranger - Samnanger section. Combined with a scheduled temperature upgrade from Blåfalli to Mauranger, this will improve the transmission capacity between Rogaland and Hordaland. Initially, the power line will operate at 300 kV, but will be facilitated for operation at 420 kV.
The overall purpose of the upgrade is to increase grid capacity in the north-southerly direction in western Norway. Today the area has a power surplus, but low reservoir capacity. This causes high power flow into the area during cold and dry periods, and high power flow out of the area during wet spells. Several new hydro and wind power stations are also planned for the region.
The upgrade involves building a new power line in place of the old one, which will subsequently be demolished. In some parts of the section, alternative power line routes will be considered due to operating challenges such as accessibility and climate loads.
The entire Mauranger - Samnanger power line is about 50 kilometres long. Notification has been submitted for a section of 38 – 45 km.
Statnett has decided to report the following for further assessment:
- A new power line will be built in parallel with the existing Samnanger – Mauranger power line. The existing line will be demolished.
- A new power line will be built partly in parallel with the existing Samnanger –Mauranger power line, but a new route will be established from Ænes/Fureberget in Kvinnherad to the existing fjord crossing over the Hardangerfjord at Torsnes in Jondal municipality. This means:
- Two alternative route alternatives will be reported on the Molthaug –Daurmålsdalen section in Jondal
- A new fjord crossing over Maurangsfjorden.
- A new substation at Ænes/Fureberget
Any route adjustments south of Hardangerfjorden will entail construction of a new substation further out and a new fjord crossing at Fureberget west of Mauranger substation.
There are two potential sites for a new substation: Ænes and Fureberget.
Initial investment cost estimates for the power grid upgrades and preparation for 420 kV operating voltage between Samnanger and Mauranger are NOK 600-950 million.