Swissgrid to move out its 220 kV transmission line from Balzers municipal region in Liechtenstein

Balzers, Liechtenstein, 25-3-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — At the end of February 2014 the project for the relocation of Swissgrid’s 220 kV transmission line in the municipal region of Balzers (Principality of Liechtenstein) was officially presented at a launch meeting. The municipality of Balzers wants to relieve its municipal region of the existing line. It will no longer renew transmission rights, which expire in 2021.

«Balzers line relocation» sub-project

The transmission line in the municipal region of Balzers is part of the existing 220 kV transmission line from the Bonaduz (GR) substation to the Montlingen (SG) and Winkeln (SG) substations. This line was created in 1971. At that time the strategic significance of the military fortifications at St. Luzisteig was accorded the highest importance, therefore the transmission line had to be erected outside the sphere of activity of the fortress.

The «Balzers line relocation» is a sub-project of the grid construction project Rüthi – Bonaduz, in which the existing 220 kV line is being upgraded throughout for 380 kV operation. However, as a result of the expiry of the transmission rights in 2021, the “Balzers line relocation”, is more time-critical for Swissgrid. Despite that the project must be planned in such a way that on the one hand it does not impinge on any environmental protection targets and on the other hand can be implemented in the overall context with an eye to the future. This is essential for subsequent integration into the Rüthi – Bondauz grid construction project without any further structural measures.

Project launch with municipalities and landowners

At the end of February 2014 Swissgrid presented the responsible project team at a launch meeting with the municipalities of Balzers (FL) and Fläsch (GR), as well as the landowners (Community Association of Balzers). As the developer, Swissgrid has commissioned former line owner Axpo Power AG from Baden for the planning and engineering. The project team also includes ARNAL from Herisau, the company which will be responsible for producing the specifications for the environmental compatibility report.

Next steps

Axpo Power AG is drawing up an inventory on behalf of Swissgrid of the necessary structural measures on the line between Bonaduz (GR) and Rüthi (SG), to enable the legally compliant 380 kV operation of the line. In the fourth quarter of 2014 Swissgrid plans to form a project advisory council for the «Balzers line relocation» sub-project, comprising the lead project management team from Swissgrid, representatives of the affected municipalities, local authorities, environmental associations and landowners, for the purpose of consultative supervision. The project advisory council is to help to raise any concerns, to ensure the provision of transparent and factually correct information in the region and to answer any questions concisely and accurately.

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