We implement all investment projects in a way that minimises key threats to nature and avoids the risk of biodiversity loss. Already at the stage of planning the route of lines and the location of substations, we ensure that the infrastructure collides as little as possible with environmentally sensitive areas. In subsequent phases of project implementation, we analyse the technical and technological feasibility of minimising 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 minimise the impact on the natural environment.

The unavoidable consequences of our investments include the loss of some habitats due to tree cutting in the technological strip of the line, among others, in forest areas. However, by using over-forest or forest pole technology, we manage to significantly reduce tree cutting – sometimes only to pole locations. 'Forest' poles are poles that, together with V-shaped insulator chains, allow the wires to be hung closer to the pole structure, i.e. allowing the width of the line to be reduced, which translates into cutting fewer trees. By contrast, the use of 'over-forest' poles means that the line conductors are suspended above the treetops.

At the stages of project implementation and operation, we endeavour to ensure that tree cutting works in the technological strip of the line are carried out in a way that limits their impact on the natural environment. These works are carried out outside the breeding season and, if necessary, under the supervision of naturalists, in particular ornithologists or chiropterologists.

As a consequence of the construction of the EHV lines, some habitats are destroyed. This is due to the transformation of the land where they were present. However, it is important to remember that new habitats are created in place of old ones as a result of other plant and animal species colonising the area. As a result of the removal of undergrowth below the EHV line, the amount of plants characteristic of open areas increases and the number of insects providing a food base for birds rises.

Replacement planting was carried out in 2021 due to tree cutting as part of the construction of Praga substation and the introduction of 220 kV Miłosna–Mory line and the construction of Jasiniec–Grudziądz Węgrowo line. The cost of replacement planting in connection with the construction of SE Praga was approximately PLN 694,000 in 2021, and for Jasiniec–Grudziądz Węgrowo line – PLN 210,000.

With a view to protecting the biodiversity and abundance of birds in power line location areas, warning markers or bird warning spirals are used on line conductors. This reduces bird mortality by reducing the number of bird collisions with line conductors. As part of the activities carried out in 2021 on Baczyna–Krajnik, Chełm–Lublin Systemowa, Morzyczyn–Recław, Czarna–Pasikurowice and Mikułowa–Czarna power lines, markers in the form of bird warning spirals were installed on designated sections of these lines.

Environmental monitoring expenses

In 2021, as part of the investment tasks for the 400 kV line between Warsaw agglomeration and Siedlce, bird and bat mortality monitoring was carried out on Pelplin–Gdańsk Przyjaźń, Grudziądz–Pelplin, Jasiniec–Grudziądz Węgrowo and Ostrołęka–Olsztyn Mątki lines. The table below shows, among other things, the costs of the monitoring incurred by PSE in 2021.

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