IMPACT ON SOCIETY AND EMPLOYEESCooperation with local governments

Cooperation with local governments

As an exemplary investor and good neighbour, we attach great importance to establishing and developing relationships with local government authorities. We include representatives of voivodeships, counties and municipalities in the investment process.

Working with local administrations, we provide comprehensive and reliable information on projects, while presenting the benefits for the municipality.

PSE's ongoing efforts to build awareness of the importance of the projects:

  • designing route proposals in cooperation with local authorities during the Feasibility Study preparation stage,
  • direct talks with mayors and commune leaders regarding the final shape of the project,
  • presentations as part of commune council sessions dedicated to projects,
  • on-call information sessions for local communities to hear out the opinions and suggestions on the optimum investment processes in a given area,
  • involving mayors, aldermen and councilors and other representatives of municipalities in communication activities at further stages of the investment project (including engaging in educational programs and inviting them to participate in meetings, conferences and consultations with residents),
  • organizing study visits in the surroundings of the regional energy infrastructure conducted by specialists from an accredited laboratory specializing in the measurement of the electromagnetic field (PEM) impact,
  • organisation of site inspections showing the immediate surroundings of the project after its completion,
  • cooperation with local media journalists in order to inform about the progress of the project,
  • constant contact with investment stakeholders via hotlines and information points, ensuring two-way communication between the investor and residents,
  • distributing informational materials to assist in conversations with residents; providing access to a website dedicated to the project, informational brochures, Q&A (questions and answers) documents, and informational and educational videos.

PSE's educational and information campaigns in support of building awareness of the importance of the project:

  • implementing in municipalities covered by PSE projects local educational programs for schools, tailored to communication needs and responding to questions and concerns arising in the municipality,
  • supporting local social actions and initiatives of local government authorities,
  • organizing meetings with experts in the field of energy, impact on human and animal health and life, doctors, breeders, etc. – as required and the materiality of issues in a given area,
  • gaining the support of local media, associations and residents for the projects through meetings and engaging them in the communication process.

While executing power projects, we share a common goal

meetings and information events for projects implemented between 2016 and 2022, including 806 meetings in 2022. 

Impact of of projects on the local economy

Selected projects – good practices in the area of social communication

Impact on local communities

Standards and regulations in the area of grid assets

Standards and regulations in the area of network assets

The social and environmental impact of our company's activities is particularly important in the construction of new overhead lines. Implementation of investment projects is based on the latest European standards PN-EN 50341 for the design of overhead power lines. We comply also with all applicable national regulations on environmental protection, planning and zoning, real property management, construction law, and other provisions.

European standards

The standards used for the design and construction of new lines ensure a high level of reliability for the line operation, a high level of public safety, and minimisation of the line's nuisance to the surrounding environment. To reduce tree cutting, in forest areas we run the line wires above the trees. This makes it possible to limit the felling of trees to small areas – only for pole positions.

For construction of each line it is necessary to obtain a decision on environmental conditions, according to which at selected points of the line the wires or poles are marked with elements visible to birds (silhouettes of birds of prey on lightning towers or warning spirals suspended on wires). Under applicable law, obstruction marking of the line as an aviation obstruction is also used. Devices, instruments and systems installed in the substations also meet the requirements of European standards, which ensures a high level of reliability of operation. Solutions are also used to reduce the impact of the substation on its surroundings, including the natural environment. Each grid transformer installed is fitted with an oil pit to protect oil from leaking to the environment in the event of failure.

Obtaining rights to real properties

In order to regulate legal relations regarding transmission facilities between transmission companies and real property owners on which such facilities are located, the concept of "utility easement" was introduced to the Civil Code in 2008. The right of utility easement defines the extent to which a transmission entrepreneur may use someone else's real property on which its transmission facilities, i.e. all structures and systems forming power lines, are located or are to be located. The provisions introduced provide the investor with access to the equipment, i.e. poles, conductors and elements of the substation, located on the real property in case of failure, repairs and maintenance.

The servitude of conveyance is a limited right in rem established in the form of a notarial deed on the real property. The easement extent is recorded in the land and mortgage register of the encumbered real property.

Under the applicable law, compensation is paid to each real property owner for the establishment of the utility easement, as well as compensation for the reduction in the value of the real property.

Before the works begin, we commission valuation reports for each real property involved in the project. The valuation reports are the basis for determining the amount of remuneration and compensation for the land owner. Factors such as the existing value and use of the real property and losses in farmland, crops or harvests caused by the occupation of a portion of the real property by transmission facilities affect the amount of payments. Additional compensation is available for the foundation of a pole. Usually, owners receive the first installment of compensation after approval and conclusion of a civil contract. The payment of the second installment is made after the signing of the notarial deed that allows the investor access the land and the line. Compensation is also granted for damage and loss caused during construction and erection works.

If the landowner does not agree to signing the easement agreement for a public utility project, after full negotiation has been carried out, a negotiation procedure in accordance with the requirements of Article 124 of the Real Property Management Act is initiated. However, this administrative procedure is the last resort in the negotiation process, and before it is used, efforts are made to find a compromise solution.

We do not maintain statistics on the number of servitude of conveyance agreements concluded with real property owners by contractors acting on our behalf. Many thousands of plots are affected annually. We estimate the percentage of concluded agreements at 94–98 percent, with the remaining 2 to 6 percent being administrative decisions issued in accordance with Article 124 of the Real Property Management Act.

Number of persons physically and economically relocated and compensation for relocation

As early as at the planning stage of the project location, we make efforts to minimize interference in the area inhabited by people. Where possible, we consider several project location options. We invite representatives of local communities and local authorities to cooperate with us. We strive to ensure that our projects did not involve relocations. No relocation took place in 2022. 

Special act

The Transmission Special Act was created to accelerate and facilitate the process of obtaining administrative orders for the implementation of projects related to the expansion and modernisation of electrical power grids. However, it does not release the investor from the obligation to obtain legally required decisions of competent public administration authorities, including the environmental decision. The main purpose of the application of the special act is therefore to discipline administrative procedures and orders. Despite the speculative mode, in order to establish the utility easement, the developer negotiates with property owners. Projects covered by the special act must be preceded by extensive public consultation, including dialogue with the authorities of relevant local government authorities, with the statutory rights of real property owners fully guaranteed. In the absence of consent from the owner, the investor has the option of forwarding the application to the provincial governor, who conducts proceedings on determining the location of the Transmission Network Strategic Project in accordance with the provisions of the special act, specifying to what extent the investor may use a given real property.

The Transmission Special Act is one of the legal acts designed to facilitate the implementation of projects of strategic importance to state security. Among other things, its provisions make it possible to concentrate the competence to issue key decisions and permits in the hands of a single authority and to regulate the legal issues of individual real properties more quickly. However, the basis of the investor's action is always the amicable establishment of titles to the real property for the needs of project implementation. Administrative procedures are only used after other options have been exhausted.

Impact of the line

All electrical equipment generates electromagnetic field in its vicinity, created by the presence of voltage and by the flow of current. The group of these devices includes the extra high voltage lines. A low-frequency (50 Hz) electromagnetic field is created around the line – the same as that produced by a vacuum cleaner or washing machine, electrical appliances used in every home. The electromagnetic field impact is often discussed in terms of its potential effects on human health.

The results of research conducted around the world so far do not confirm the concerns about the negative impact of low-frequency electromagnetic fields on human health or other living organisms, but neither do they exclude such an impact. For this reason, in Poland and throughout the European Union, appropriate regulations have been established, specifying the permissible impact of power facilities with a large margin of safety. Our company strictly adheres to applicable regulations. Before a facility is put into operation, electromagnetic field measurements are taken, the results of which are then verified by environmental authorities, ruling out the possibility of non-compliance.

For each implemented project, we prepare guides for local communities with reliable information about the project and its impact on the environment. The impact of electromagnetic fields is always on the agenda of regional conferences organized by contractors in cooperation with us.


The level of noise emitted depends on the design of the power line and weather conditions (it increases significantly during drizzle and rain, which is beyond our control). Noise from the newly designed lines outside the right-of-way does not exceed environmental limits.

Transformers are the main sources of noise in our substations. We use equipment with a reduced sound power level and modern technological solutions for cooling systems. In special cases, noise barriers are built to reduce noise.

We evaluate impact of our projects on local communities in 100 percent of our investment operations.

Gaining public acceptance for the line route

The Transmission Network Development Plan, which is accepted by the ERO President as a document of national rank, specifies basic information on line voltage and capacity (e.g., information on whether the development will be single or double circuit). The document does not specify the location of the transmission line, so it is possible to develop its route in different options.

At the pre-investment stage of designing the route of the line, various location options are selected, looking for the least conflicting. Designers are trying to delineate the course of the line so as to avoid approaches to residential development. Unfortunately, this is very difficult – due to the degree of urbanization of our country. Near large cities and metropolitan areas, where land is highly urbanized and infrastructure is dense, these problems multiply. Agricultural land without land development rights is preferred, as the power line does not interfere with agricultural activities. Forest areas are also being used, designing the line on poles above forests . It is somewhat easier to locate a planned transmission line along existing linear infrastructure, such as rail routes, expressways or previously constructed power lines. However, it should be remembered that there is no option for locating the line completely free of collisions. The company identifies one top-rated option, which is still being refined during the information and consultation process.

The information and consultation process is carried out at all possible levels, starting from state and voivodeship to local levels. Investment programs and individual projects are first presented to the voivodeship authorities, which oversee the development of entire regions. The investor then meets with county and municipal authorities and councilors. Local community representatives know their residents and their needs well. They are the first to be able to suggest necessary changes to an ongoing investment that may interfere with local development plans. The developer then meets with residents at the municipal and village level, right up to direct negotiations with the owners of the real properties where the project is to be implemented. At each stage there is an opportunity to make comments and suggestions for corrections.

Minimizing the negative social impact of the projects implemented

The purpose of the Feasibility Study (FS) development phase is to provide a detailed, in-depth analysis of the feasibility of the project route. It is based on specific studies, in particular accurate maps showing the route of the line, including pole spacing or the location of the power substation in the commune. This allows analyzing local conditions and identifying specific needs to minimize any negative social impact of the projects implemented. As part of the works, modifications will be made to the foundation of power infrastructure on the basis of suggestions made by commune authorities. These are subject to further consultation with local communities and, ultimately, to assessment in an environmental decision procedure.

At this stage, it is important to obtain information on:

  • commune development plans in specific districts or localities (source of information: municipal study, geoportal, key diagram (SUiKZP), local land development plan (MPZP), local development strategies, local government representatives),
  • residents' life plans, building permits and outline planning permissions in specific districts (source of information: local government representatives, opinion leaders),
  • potential problem situations in specific districts (source of information: local government representatives),
  • opinion leaders in specific districts (source of information: local government representatives),
  • the number of real property owners in the area where the project will be implemented (source of information: district administrations, land and building records),
  • estimated value of utility easement (source of information: dedicated web portals regarding transaction prices in the commune).

At this stage of works, public consultations on the final form of the project are carried out. During the consultation meetings, residents provide their comments and suggestions on the line route, location of poles on the plots, location of the power substation, and access roads to the real properties where construction works will be carried out. All this information is collected and analyzed by the investor's representatives for possible implementation. The information gathered in this way forms the basis for the development of the line route, which is then assessed in an environmental decision procedure. Establishing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders is important at this stage.

Key figures

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