Elia actively works to reduce the impact of its new and existing high-voltage lines on the surrounding landscape. And this both for our overhead and underground installations.
Most of Elia’s underground facilities run along public roads. However, for technical or other reasons our underground cables are sometimes installed cross-country. The pylons for overhead lines are often also located on farmland.
With the declaration of public utility provided by the authorities, Elia is legally entitled to install above-ground infrastructure on private land.
In this context, a good relationship with the relevant farmers is essential for the installation of new infrastructure and maintenance of existing infrastructure. Elia wants to operate as transparently as possible and has joined forces with Boerenbond, Algemeen Boerensyndicaat and Fédération Wallonne de l’Agriculture to develop a memorandum of understading, which includes the negotiating framework, compensation plan and standard agreements.
Visual integration of high-voltage lines and substations
Elia actively works to reduce the impact of its new high-voltage lines on the landscape. As part of the Stevin project, which involves upgrading the high-voltage grid between Zomergem and Zeebrugge, Elia has planted more than 1,800 trees and 11 km of hedgerow near the overhead line, in cooperation with the regional landscape associations. The new line and pylons will integrate into the local landscape when the plants have grown high enough.
Similar green integration efforts have been made at the new high-voltage substations of Stevin (Zeebrugge), Gezelle (Brugge Spie), Van Maerlant (Damme) and Horta (Zomergem) by planting large living fences outside the fences of these substations.
For most of its substation projects, Elia studies the various options to better integrate the infrastructure into its environment and limit constraints.