Each of our power investment projects meets the legal requirements for the environmental impact of extra-high voltage infrastructure.
Polish safety standards in the field of electric and magnetic fields for residential places are among the strictest in the world.
By implementing the Environmental Management System in 2012 in accordance with the PN-EN ISO 14001 standard, we committed to particularly supervise compliance with legal regulations and to apply good environmental practices. We have also imposed this obligation on contractors and subcontractors of our investment tasks, as well as on suppliers of electrical power instruments and equipment. Together, we make every effort to ensure that environmental care characterizes each stage of the investment process - from planning through construction to operation - and takes into account the entire range of aspects such as remedial measures to protect the soil and groundwater from contamination, limiting losses of habitats and species, managing emergency situations, minimizing emissions of noise and electromagnetic fields, and waste management.
We implement investment projects in a way that minimizes key threats to the nature and avoids the risk of biodiversity loss. Already at the stage of planning the route of lines and location of substations, we ensure that the infrastructure collides as little as possible with environmentally sensitive areas. In subsequent phases of project implementation, we analyze the technical and technological feasibility of minimizing the impacts associated with the construction and subsequent operation of network facilities. In case of completed investments, for which the environmental decisions indicate the obligation to conduct environmental monitoring, we focus on its performance and analysis of the obtained results. This allows us to assess whether the solutions we have implemented are effective, and thus - whether we have managed to minimize the impact on the natural environment. Among other things, this will allow us to evaluate over the next few years which of the markers used on lightning conductors best warn birds of collisions with EHV lines.
The unavoidable impacts of the PSE investment projects include the loss of some habitats associated with the clearing of trees in the right-of-way, especially in forested areas. Due to the use of over-forest and forest poles, we are able to significantly reduce the amount of tree felling to the locations where the poles are to be erected (a "forest" pole is a pole which, together with V-shaped insulator strings, allows cables to be hung closer to the pole structure, which means that the width of the line can be reduced; by using “over-forest" poles, cables are hung above the tree crowns).
Both at the stage of project implementation and at the stage of project operation, we make every effort to ensure that works related to tree felling in the right-of-way of the line are performed in a manner limiting their environmental impact, i.e. outside the breeding season and under the supervision of naturalists, in particular ornithologists and chiropterologists. As a consequence of the construction of the EHV lines, some habitats are lost due to the transformation of the area where they occurred, but new habitats are created in their place as a result of other plant and animal species colonizing the area. As a result of the removal of undergrowth under the EHV line, the amount of plants characteristic of open areas is increasing and the number of insects providing a food base for birds is increasing.
We try to run the lines so that they interfere as little as possible with areas of valuable and rare species. For this reason, the need for wildlife compensation is extremely rare. Destruction of sites of species occurring commonly and in large numbers remains without significant impact on the preservation of the population and does not require undertaking natural compensation connected with their restoration (it is also compliant with the applicable legal regulations - Article 75 of the Environmental Protection Law Act).
In order to protect the biodiversity and abundance of birds found in power line location areas, we use warning markers or bird warning spirals on line conductors. This reduces bird mortality by reducing the number of bird collisions with line conductors. In 2020, warning markers or spirals were applied to the following lines: Jasiniec-Pątnów, Czarna-Pasikurowice and Morzyczyn-Recław. On the latter line, markers were installed on the lightning conductor in selected spans of the line in the vicinity of which white-tailed eagle, black stork, and birds of prey were found, and because of the Natura 2000 site located in the vicinity of the line.
|Name of the investment task||Monitoring costs incurred in 2020.|
|Construction of the 400 kV Bydgoszcz Zachód-Piła Krzewina line||175 000 zł|
|Construction of the 400 kV line from the 400/110 kV Czarna substation to the 220/110 kV Polkowice substation||60 000 zł|
|Construction of the 400 kV line along with the change in the EHV network layout between Warsaw agglomeration and Siedlce||58 000 zł|
Compensation measures in connection with the construction of a line or substation
During the implementation of the investment project consisting in extension and modernization of the Byczyna substation (along with the 400 kV line connection in Jaworzno), it was necessary to destroy a patch of meadow being a Natura 2000 habitat - (Molinia meadows).
There were specimens of 3 species under legal protection in the destroyed area: Dactylorhiza majalis L., Gladiolus imbricatus L. and Iris sibirica L. In 2015 the protected species were replanted, while according to the obtained decision on environmental conditions in the place of relocation of these species the required mowing in a biennial cycle is realized: 2016, 2018, 2020... These mowings are done after August 20 to allow the protected plants to set seed and be sown.
At the same time, based on another environmental decision from 2016, mowing is carried out once a year on the remaining parcels in the Byczyna substation area with a total area of about 3 hectares, which contain Molinia meadows. The above works are performed in the long term in order to preserve the grassland habitat 6410, which provides habitat for following butterfly species: Phengaris nausithous and Phengaris teleius, as these habitats are threatened with extinction by lack of grassland management, as natural succession occurs in the absence of mowing leading to the displacement of native plant species.
During the construction of the Bydgoszcz Zachód-Piła Krzewina power line, based on the 2016 environmental decision, Dactylorhiza incarnata, species, located in the vicinity of the pole 185, was replanted to the same area of habitat 6510 - lowland and mountain fresh meadows used extensively. Replanting was done in 2019 under the supervision of a naturalist, the replanted specimen of the species was manually moved to the new habitat with an adequate reserve of root ball. In 2020, a botanist, as part of the monitoring resulting from the provisions of the environmental decision, assessed the condition of the orchid and indicated the presence of two specimens of the species.
- A and A1 type nest boxes for common redstart, European pied flycatcher, Eurasian nuthatch, Eurasian tree sparrow, great tit, willow tit, coal tit, European crested tit, Eurasian blue tit, marsh tit, 29 in total;
- B type nest boxes for starlings, 6 pieces;
- Half-open nest boxes for black redstarts, 10 pieces;
- Nest boxes for short-toed treecreeper and Eurasian treecreeper, 4 pieces;
- Nest boxes for common goldeneye - 1 near the river Vistula at the level of the pole No. 32, 1 at the lake Papowskie near the pole No. 113;
- Issel type boxes for bats, 20 pieces;
- Stratmann type boxes for bats, 20 pieces.
Biodiversity of the environmental compensation compared to biodiversity of affected areas
Biodiversity of compensation habitats in terms of:
|Habitat surface area (km2)|
|Main protected species||Habitat description (e.g., wetlands, grasslands, forests, etc.).||Monitoring and reporting period for biodiversity at offset sites|
Dactylorhiza majalis L.,
Gladiolus imbricatus L. and
Iris sibirica L.W
Conservation of the common osprey
The installation of osprey platforms on power poles is a good and proven practice in addition to the installation of platforms on trees. It is used, among others, in Germany, where about one third of the osprey population nests on high voltage poles. Protecting nests in this way increases the chance of birds settling in.
The construction of nesting platforms for ospreys is a continuation of measures commenced by PSE in 2014. Another installation of nesting platforms was carried out in 2021 on supporting structures (poles) of EHV lines: Krajnik-Glinki, Morzyczyn-Police and Krajnik-Vierraden. The project will increase the breeding area of the osprey Pandion haliaetus, which should have a direct impact on increasing the population of this species.