GRI 102-43 At the investment planning stage, we establish direct relations with opinion leaders and local authorities at the province, county and commune levels. We initiate and conduct educational actions concerning the role of PSE in the Polish Power System and the significance of our activities promoting energy security of the country. We explain to local communities the need to develop the transmission network in Poland.
In cooperation with contractors to whom a contract is awarded under a tendering procedure, we provide them with relevant guidelines on the preparation and implementation of social communication programmes in the form of appendices to agreements concluded. The geographical location of a power line project usually spans the territory of many communes, several counties, or even provinces. In most cases, prior to the commencement of a line right-of-way project, only points between which it will run are known. This makes it necessary to consider a number of line route options and to identify key stakeholder groups in the context of each option.
All investment projects we implement are supported by social communication programmes (100 percent). We have been continuously analysing their impact on local communities.
For each investment project performed, we prepare a web page and information guides addressed to local communities, which contain reliable information on the investment concerned, including its environmental impact. The main objects of public interest from the point of view of potential impact on human health are electromagnetic fields and noise. This is why we diligently convey our knowledge on research conducted throughout the world as well as applicable laws and regulations – each of them is strictly observed. Prior to putting a facility into service, we perform measurements of electromagnetic fields, which are then subjected to verification by environmental protection administration.
The process of planning and preparing linear right-of-way projects lasts several times longer than the construction itself. Owing to the need to take into account what are often mutually exclusive interests of all interested parties, it requires utmost diligence. Each our investment is prepared and implemented in compliance with all laws and regulations and following the best construction and operating practices, both Polish and international. The final line route and substation locations represent a compromise between the expectations of the local communities and technical capabilities.
Infrastructure investment projects require "continuity" to be maintained. Any attempt to move the line route to a different location gives rise to consequences in the adjacent area. Taking into account legal and environmental constraints, we always consider several route options. We take into account local and regional spatial development plans, development directions of each commune, detailed environmental and landscape conditions, protected areas, and other elements that may conflict with a line route.
Participation of the public in the line route planning process is highly desirable. A jointly selected line route option is better and less conflicting, which allows the arduous stage of procuring decisions and authorisations required by law to be completed faster. Designers seek to set out a line route so as to avoid proximity to residential development; however, the increasing level of urban development across the country makes it significantly more difficult to find compromise solutions which are satisfactory to local communities. Near large cities and urban agglomerations, the problems multiply. Preference is given to agricultural land without development rights, as a power line is no obstacle to farming. We also use forest land, in which case lines carried by over-forest pylons are designed. However, it is easier to locate a planned transmission line along existing linear infrastructure – railway routes, expressways or previously built power lines. Unfortunately, no line location option exists which is completely collision-free. Therefore, being aware that the line route is of foremost importance for local communities, we propose several location options for the same line. Different options are developed in cooperation with local authorities, as even the best digital map does not contain development plans for regions and communes or plans for their future spatial development, which must be analysed when selecting an optimum route. At this stage, in the case of planned routes across areas of high natural value, environmental NGOs are additionally involved in the process, which very often become a valuable source of knowledge on local natural features and forms of natural environment protection.
In the case of an electrical substation project, acceptance is usually required of several plot owners, and therefore a compromise solution is easier to arrive at than for a line.
Acquisition of transmission rights of way
Construction of transmission lines requires the establishment of a property right. Depending on the type and design, a tower/pylon occupies an area of 50–120 m². In addition, it is necessary to factor in land occupancy in the rights of way under lines, mainly for maintenance and operation purposes. Depending on line voltage, technical solutions and environmental conditions, it is 50-80 m in width.
Transmission rights of way represent a legal encumbrance on land. Usually, it limits the use of land to a very small extent. Crop growing and animal breeding is possible under lines, and farming equipment can be used. We sign civil-law contracts in the form of notarial deeds with land owners. They specify the extent to which a transmission undertaking can use third-party property on which their transmission equipment is or will be situated. Transmission rights of way reduce the value of property, for which we pay compensation in accordance with a property appraiser's valuation. The degree of property value loss depends on land use and requires a property appraiser's individual assessment. We usually manage to come to an agreement with owners of plots situated under power lines. In the absence of the land owner's consent to sign the public utility project rights of way agreement, following the completion of the entire negotiation process, a negotiation process is triggered in accordance with the requirements of Article 124 of the Property Management Act.
Based on our best practice, upon completion of work we carry out necessary reclamation. In agreement with plot owners, we pay amounts due for any damage caused in the course of construction. In the absence of an agreement, the amount due is assessed by a property appraiser.