Research and development
We conduct research and development related to the land use and environmental impacts of the main grid. Research is commissioned as needed, in the form of student theses and final-year projects, as well as consultants’ studies. We also conduct research in collaboration with various research institutes.
Many of the studies that have been carried out have focused on natural values and biodiversity. For example, the decline in meadowland, sunny and dry habitats, and marshland in Finland is a recognised problem, which causes a reduction in the number of habitats suitable for certain species. Research has found that transmission lines provide an important substitute habitat for these species.
We have collaborated extensively with various parties, including Pertti Koskimies, an ornithologist, on a range of research projects related to birdlife. The projects have studied the relative risk of collisions with transmission lines, among other things.
The ecosystem services offered by transmission lines were examined in 2016, and we have enhanced the opportunities for making effective use of transmission line rights-of-way on the basis of these examinations.
Environmentally friendly chemicals
Fingrid has worked with the University of Helsinki to determine whether Chondrostereum purpureum can be used as a sprout control method. Biological sprout control relies on natural methods to control the growth of sprouts without requiring industrial herbicides. Biological sprout control treatments supplement mechanical methods by preventing/slowing the resprouting of deciduous trees.
In the thesis projects entitled “Effects of using ester oils on the management of the environmental risks posed by high-voltage transformers” and “Applicability of ester oils to high voltage transformers in the Finnish transmission grid”, we studied the possibility of using fireproof, biodegradable transformer oils (ester oils) in high-power transformers. Ester oils reduce the environmental risks associated with transformers (transformer fires and oil leaks) and facilitate management. However, further study is required to establish whether ester oils are compatible with Finland’s climate due to the high viscosity and freezing point of the oils.
We have also examined the environmental and occupational safety properties of chemicals and plant protection products used in maintenance work, and we have searched for safer substitutes for the chemicals currently in use.
The thesis project entitled “High voltage transmission lines: effects on residential and recreational properties” examined the impact of transmission lines on the prices of property.