Grid project Mörel – Ulrichen
New line between Ernen and Ulrichen in operation
The construction of the new 30-km-long extra-high voltage line in Goms is making great progress. On the section between Ernen and Ulrichen, electricity has been flowing since October 2019. However, the work is not quite finished yet. Only around half of the pylons have been painted green so far. The remaining pylons will be painted by summer 2020. As a result, they will fit in better with the surrounding landscape and will also be protected against corrosion.
In contrast, 177 pylons and conductors from the old overhead lines – the 220 kV Swissgrid line and the regional electricity grid operator Valgrid’s 65 kV line – will be dismantled from 2020. This will improve the appearance of the landscape and surrounding villages of Ernen, Ritzingen and Reckingen. The pylon foundations will also be removed to a depth of around 1 metre. The former pylon sites will be revegetated.
The dismantling and removal will benefit the surrounding villages and landscape.
Trees and shrubs grow back again in the area that was cleared.
Swissgrid will start construction of the new extra-high voltage line on the section between Mörel-Filet and Ernen in 2021. The footpaths leading to the future pylon locations and installation areas will be created by the spring. Construction of the pylon foundations and assembly work is expected to begin in summer 2021. In steep or unstable terrain, the foundations will be anchored in the ground with metal rods and secured with additional measures. This line section is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2022. The dismantling of the current 220 kV Swissgrid line and the 65 kV Valgrid lines will take place in 2023.
Grid expansion in the Upper Valais region is not progressing everywhere
The extra-high voltage line between Mörel-Filet and Ulrichen, which is approximately 30 km long, continues to take shape. However, Swissgrid is not achieving the same progress everywhere as it is with the new line in Goms. The lines in the Upper Valais region are used to transport electricity produced from hydro power in Valais – for example, from the new pumped storage power plant in Nant de Drance. The grid project is an important element of «Strategic Grid 2025» and will serve Valais and the rest of Switzerland. To ensure electricity can flow without congestion, the voltage of various lines must be increased to 380 kilovolts. New transformers and substations must also be connected to the grid. This will make it possible to transmit electricity to the population centres in Central Switzerland using various connections, such as those in Gemmi, Grimsel or Nufenen. Until that happens, Swissgrid will still have to realise some other grid projects in the Upper Valais region.
The modernisation of the transmission grid in the Valais region serves to transport the electricity generated via hydro power in Valais.