The progress of the project

Here you can find information on different stages of the project.

EIA procedure

The statutory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure ascertains the direct and indirect environmental impacts in transmission line projects of at least 220 kilovolts and over 15 kilometres in length. The procedure deals with the various options of the project and the impacts on issues such as:

  • human health, living conditions and living environment
  • soil, water, air, climate, flora, fauna and biodiversity
  • community structure, buildings, landscape, townscape and cultural heritage
  • utilisation of natural resources, and
  • their mutual interaction.

Stages of the EIA procedure

The EIA procedure starts with the compilation of an assessment programme. It is a survey of the current status of the project area and a work plan of which alternative transmission line routes will be studied and how the environmental impacts will be assessed. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY centre), which acts as the co-ordination authority, announces the availability of the assessment programme for public viewing in the municipalities of the project area. During the public viewing, comments can be presented to the co-ordination authority. The project is also introduced in public meetings. After the public viewing, the co-ordination authority compiles the comments and authority statements on the programme and gives its own statement on their basis to Fingrid for the drawing up of the assessment report.

The results of the environmental impact assessment work are compiled into an assessment report, which focuses on the comparison of project options and assessment of feasibility. Similar to the assessment programme stage, the co-ordination authority puts the assessment report on public display and compiles the comments and statements given of it. The assessment procedure concludes with a statement on the assessment report by the co-ordination authority. The EIA procedure usually takes one year to a year and a half.

Decision making after the EIA

The EIA procedure is not a permit procedure. Information on environmental impacts generated during the procedure is included in decision making, when Fingrid, later responsible for the project, selects the transmission line route to be taken for further planning.

The selection of the transmission line route is followed by terrain inspections and general planning. Terrain inspections require a research permit from the National Land Survey of Finland. A project permit in accordance with the Electricity Market Act is applied for from the Energy Authority, as well as an expropriation permit from the Finnish Government once the general planning is complete. The EIA report and the statement on it by the co-ordination authority are attached to both permit applications.

More information on the EIA procedure can be found on the website of the state environmental administration. There is a quick link to the website on the right side of this page under Further information. More information on Fingrid's projects at the EIA stage is available on this website in the section Current projects.

DETAILS

Mika Penttilä

Land Use Manager
tel. +358 30 395 5230

Satu Vuorikoski

Senior Expert, Environment and Corporate Responsibility
tel. +358 30 395 5195

Planning

The planning and construction of a transmission line is a multi-stage process prescribed by law. In addition to economic and technical aspects, land use and environmental considerations are also taken into account.


Field investigations constituting the basis of the planning of a new line route

In accordance with the nation-wide land use objectives stipulated in the Land Use and Building Act, the objective is to primarily utilise existing rights-of-ways in the planning of transmission line routes. Before the construction of new transmission lines, the transmission capacity of the existing grid is utilised as effectively as possible.

The final new line route and the tower locations are selected on the basis of field investigations. In the planning of new transmission line routes, Fingrid seeks solutions which avoid the immediate proximity of residential areas. Fingrid mitigates the adverse land use, landscape and environmental effects by the proper placing of towers and through technical solutions (such as towers intended for arable land, power line bird markers).

While planning transmission line routes, Fingrid takes into consideration the available environmental data, compatibility with other land uses in the relevant area, and aspects which have surfaced in interaction with various parties.

The goal is to minimise the adverse impacts within the boundary conditions of the public interest as well as technical and commercial attributes.

Expropriation proceedings

The Government decision concerning an expropriation and advance take-over permit is delivered to the local office of the National Land Survey of Finland, where the expropriation proceedings are instituted.

The amount of the expropriation compensation to be paid to landowners is defined and decided by an expropriation committee, which is headed by an engineer of the National Land Survey of Finland appointed to oversee the proceedings. The other members of the committee are two trustees appointed by the local council. Fingrid is not represented in the committee nor is it involved in deciding on the compensations.

The first meeting of the expropriation committee is notified by sending a personal letter of invitation to the landowners. This initial meeting discusses issues such as the significance of the expropriation permit and the practical measures related to the expropriation proceedings and the construction of the transmission line. The initial meeting also deals with the advance compensation issues.

The use of private roads during the construction period is agreed separately. If necessary, there are road reviews in the presence of an outside expert.

Expropriated right of use
The right of use acquired by Fingrid through the expropriation procedure restrict the rights of the owner of the relevant area as follows:

  • No structures or devices, except for ordinary fences, can be erected between the structures of the transmission line towers and within three metres from the towers.
  • Fences must not be attached to the towers.
  • No ditches or other excavations can be made nor can a road be established closer than three metres from the tower structures. The distance is determined from a solid edge of the ditch or other excavation.
  • Without a specific permit, no trees can be grown in the right-of-way, nor can buildings or other structures or devices higher than two metres be kept in the right-of-way, except for ordinary fences. No buildings can be built in the immediate vicinity of the right-of-way.
  • A tree growing in the 10-metre wide border zone, which is located on both sides of the right-of-way, may have a maximum height of 10 metres at the edge of the right-of-way. In other parts of the border zone, a tree can be as much taller than this as what the distance of the tree from the edge of the right-of-way is.
  • No activities which may result in a risk to the operation or continued intactness of the transmission line may be performed in the right-of-way or in its vicinity.
 
Through these limitations, the owner of the transmission line is reserved the following necessary rights to use the real estate so as to construct, operate, maintain and renew the line:

  • A right to erect and keep a transmission line with its towers, conductors and other devices in the right-of-way.
  • A right to make measurements in the right-of-way. Also a right to install earthing conductors; the damage caused by these during the work is compensated separately to the landowners.
  • A right to keep the right-of-way clear of trees, sprout forest and other objects that may interfere with the operation and maintenance of the line.
  • A right to remove from the right-of-way buildings and other structures in cases where there is no separate agreement of their erection or keeping in the right-of-way.
  • A right to mark the boundaries of the right-of-way in a suitable manner so that they can be easily detected.
  • A right to mark those trees in the border zones and, for a special reason, also those trees growing outside the right-of-way, which due to their height can be dangerous to the line, and a right to fell such trees unless the forest owner arranges their felling. Damage or loss inflicted by the felling of trees outside the right-of-way is compensated separately to the landowner.
  • A right for persons working on behalf of the owner of the transmission line to move along the right-of-way on foot or by a vehicle from one tower to another, and for this purpose to build temporary roads and culverts, to build and maintain necessary gates in the fences existing in the right-of-way, to take advantage of the roads and paths which lead to the right-of-way and which exist in the real estate, and, where appropriate, to use other areas for moving on foot or by motor-driven or other machinery and vehicles.
Compensation procedure

A landowner has the right to full compensation for the economic losses caused by the transmission line project. The expropriation compensation consists of a site compensation and disadvantage compensation as well as compensation for damage.

The expropriation compensation is a non-recurring monetary compensation. Moreover, Fingrid pays an agreed special compensation to those landowners who have signed a letter of intent.

Site compensation and disadvantage compensation

A site compensation is ordered to be paid for issues such as the ground area of the transmission line area. When determining the compensation, the expropriation committee aims to assess how much the transmission line interferes with the existing or known planned land use in the region. 

Disadvantage compensation is paid for issues such as the tower disadvantage on arable land. Its amount is determined for example by the shape and size of the obstacle area as well as by the intensity of cultivation.

Damages are ordered to be paid for windthrow, for example. Part of the compensation, about 75%, can be paid in advance if a relevant party so requires. The amount of the final compensations can be determined only after the transmission line has been completed. Before that, the landowners are reserved an opportunity to present their claims for losses to the expropriation committee either in writing or orally. However, a compensation can be paid even if it has not been required, since the expropriation committee determines the compensations, ex officio. To support the compensation assessment, the expropriation committee also carries out a field review in the relevant area to be able to determine the final situation.

The final compensations must be paid within 3 months after the finishing of the expropriation procedure. A statutory interest of 6 per cent is paid on the compensations from the beginning of the construction work. It usually takes about one year from the completion of the transmission line to receive the compensations.

Damages

The goal is to avoid damage during the construction work. Despite caution, however, damage may be inflicted on ditches, roads, fields, trees, etc.

A contractor authorised by Fingrid will repair or compensate any damage observed by the contractor or reported by the landowner and resulting from the construction of the line. The damage will be compensated directly to the landowner as and when damage occurs or after the construction work has been completed. If no agreement can be reached, the disputes will be dealt with by the expropriation committee.

Construction

Due to its position and the nature and scope of its operations, Fingrid Oyj is a prominent client in the transmission construction industry in Finland. This is why Fingrid must contribute to technical developments and increased competition in the industry, and serve as a trailblazer in its business in terms of occupational safety and environmental considerations.

The construction of a transmission line progresses in stages. In addition to Fingrid, the process involves numerous parties, such as the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of the project region, the municipalities and landowners of the project region and the Regional Council.

The purpose of transmission grid construction is to carry out the transmission projects decided by Fingrid in an economically viable manner. In grid construction, Fingrid applies a procedure where the actual construction work is contracted out to service providers.

Fingrid maintains solid procurement and technical knowledge and ensures the quality of the expertise, cost efficiency and end products of its service providers. Investment projects may also involve refurbishment work. The projects are subjected to non-discriminatory competitive tendering, and the successful tenderer is selected on the basis of criteria for overall economy.

In the construction of the transmission system, the company pays particular attention to environmental issues and to communications to stakeholders.