Balzers line relocation

The Principality of Liechtenstein, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and Swissgrid are reviewing different options for relocating the existing line in Balzers. Corridor versions on both the Swiss and Liechtenstein side are being reviewed.

Your contact for this grid project

Jan Schenk
Jan Schenk

Phone +41 58 580 21 11
info@swissgrid.ch

220 kV line
220 kV line
Existing line
Existing line
Substation
Substation

Overview

The transmission line in the municipal region of Balzers is part of the existing, roughly 73 kilometre, 220 kilovolt transmission line from the Bonaduz (GR) substation to the Rüthi (SG) and Meiningen (AT) substations. The municipality of Balzers (FL) has indicated that it will not extend the expiring transit agreement. For that reason, investigations are in progress to establish how the existing line through the municipality of Balzers can be relocated. In Switzerland, a sectoral plan procedure, followed by a planning approval procedure, are applied for the construction of new transmission lines. An equivalent planning procedure will be defined in the Principality of Liechtenstein for the line routing in Balzers. Swissgrid, the Principality of Liechtenstein and the municipality of Balzers have defined a common procedure in this respect.

The Rüthi – Bonaduz extra-high-voltage line ensures the security of supply for the Principality of Liechtenstein via the switching substations in Meiningen and Bürs. The Principality of Liechtenstein's supply region is connected to the Swiss transmission grid via the Montlingen switching substation.


Project

Swissgrid will prepare specific route proposals in cooperation with the project partners. Corridor versions on both the Swiss and Liechtenstein side will be reviewed. A monitoring group set up by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and Liechtenstein will investigate various planning corridors as part of the sectoral plan procedure. Both overhead line and underground cabling options are reviewed for every grid construction project. These are evaluated based on technological, environmental, regional planning and efficiency aspects. Ultimately, the competent authorities decide on the corridor and the technology.

Milestones

Schedule in the optimal case (without appeal to the courts):

2018 Start of the sectoral plan process
2020 Information event for authorities, associations and the general public before the circulation of the planning corridor
2020 Public consultation/cooperation procedure on the planning corridor
2020 Specification of the planning corridor and the technology by the Federal Council
2021 Start of the planning approval procedure
2022 Planning approval decision
2024 Commissioning of the new line 380 kilovolt line
2024 Dismantling of the existing 220 kilovolt line

The line to be relocated in Balzers is part of the Rüthi – Bonaduz line. The line will be constructed for 380 kilovolts, but will only be operated at 220 kilovolts. A 380 kilovolt Rüthi – Bonaduz connection is no longer contained in the «Strategic Grid 2025», as it is not necessary to ensure the security of supply until 2025. The 220 kilovolt connections are adequate for transporting the energy from the existing power plants.

«Balzers line relocation» Project Advisory Council

Every project allows design latitude. When the members of the Project Advisory Council express their opinions candidly, point out options for action and thus make constructive contributions to the discussion, the foundation is laid for applying this design latitude to best effect. In this sense, the Project Advisory Council is a consultative forum in which mutual understanding is promoted and different concerns can be raised directly. This is intended to optimise project communication and increases acceptance.

The Project Advisory Council was constituted on 21 November 2014 and will be gradually expanded as soon as the project enters a new phase. The Project Advisory Council will be suspended for the duration of the sectoral plan process, as the monitoring group established by the authorities will take over the activities. Swissgrid will once again utilise the Project Advisory Council in the construction project in order to promote the exchange of information between the municipalities, associations and those directly affected.

The following persons are members of the Project Advisory Council:

Municipality of Balzers Hansjörg Büchel, Head of the Municipality
Municipality of Balzers Dominik Frommelt, Municipal Councillor
Municipality of Fläsch René Pahud, Chairman of the Municipality
Balzers Community Association Silvio Wille
Landowner in Balzers Monika Büchel
Landowner in Balzers Anton Vogt
Landowner in Balzers Arthur Willi
Liechtensteinische Kraftwerke Jürg Tinner
Law firm Wolff Gstöhl Bruckschweiger Dr Peter Wolff, Lawyer
Swissgrid Jan Schenk

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