Grid project Chippis – Mörel

A new 380-kilovolt line is being constructed between Chippis and Mörel. The construction of this line is necessary to ensure that all of the energy generated from hydropower in the Valais can reach the centres in Central Switzerland and Ticino.

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
Planning area
Planning area
Dismantling
Dismantling
Existing line
Existing line
Substation
Substation

Overview

Construction of a new 44 km overhead line between Chippis and Mörel. There are two 380 kV circuits between Chippis and Visp. An additional 220 kV circuit is planned to run from Visp to Mörel. Partial underground cabling of the line on various sections is being examined in the Visp – Mörel area by means of an underground cabling study.

This new line is necessary for the transport of the electricity production from hydroelectric plants in Valais. It will link Valais with the Swiss and European extra high voltage lines.

The existing 220 kV line between Chippis and Mörel will be dismantled after the new overhead line is put into service.

Improvement compared to the current situation

  • The two lines Chippis – Mörel-Filet and Chippis – Stalden are being bundled between the substation Chippis and Agarn on the same route
  • In addition, other synergies are being exploited in the Pfynwald area and the lines of lower voltage levels cabled or bundled. Overall the burden on this unique pine forest will undergo a massive reduction compared to the current situation.
  • The new line will be built on the shaded southern slope further away from the settlement areas. The existing 220 kV line in particular runs in the Niedergampel, Gampel, Raron and Baltschieder region through the centre of the villages and hinders them in their settlement development.
  • The burden on the population will be reduced by the greater distance of the line to the settlements. All new and strict regulations regarding the limits for non-ionising radiation will be met or even clearly undershot and the noise burden will be markedly reduced by the use of the latest technologies.
Opinions and impressions of the project

Project

The project Chippis – Mörel was included in the sectoral plan for transmission lines (SÜL) in 2001. In October 2012 the Federal Council determined the SÜL corridor as an overhead line corridor. The argumentation of the SÜL report is as follows:

  • Compared to the current situation in which the 220 kV Chippis – Mörel-Filet overhead line crosses the Pfyn forest, a line route along the southern foot of the slope and underground cabling / bundling of the low voltage lines is an improvement overall.
  • There would be no «clean sweep» in the Pfyn forest in the case of cabling. The Törbel line would remain where it is.
  • The construction of a 380 kV underground cable involves great effort and likewise has effects on nature and the landscape. The route along the southern valley flank in a wooded slope location was the result of a comprehensive weighing of interests and was not suitable for underground cabling.

Compensatory measures:

  • The 220 kV line Chippis – Stalden (Törbel line) will be shifted and run parallel to the new 380 kV line Chippis – Mörel-Filet or on the same track
  • Overhead lines with a voltage level below 110 kV are to be laid underground or bundled with other lines
  • In the Pfyn forest area compensatory measures are to be carried out by bundling the new line and underground laying of low voltage level lines (according to «Leitungskonzept Pfynwald»)

Interactive animation about the project Chippis – Mörel (in French)

Timetable

2019 Planning approval procedure start
2022 Project execution / tenders
2023 Construction and civil engineering / pylon and cable assembly
2025 Commissioning / dismantling of existing 220 and 65 kV lines («Leitungskonzept Pfynwald»)

Agarn – Mörel cable study

  • In individual line sections of the Chippis – Mörel project, not all of the information required for a version decision is yet available. For the Chippis – Mörel grid project, Swissgrid is developing a cable study in individual line sections to take more detailed account of the local conditions and better assess the technical solution and costs.
  • The cable study extends along the entire line between Agarn and Mörel. As part of the cable study, underground cabling of the 380 kilovolt line is being examined in various sections, whereby each section could be built individually as a partial underground cabling version.
  • If the decision is made to proceed with underground cabling, a new sectoral plan procedure would need to be launched, since the cable routes are, in part, outside the established SPTL corridor. If the future 380-kilovolt Chippis – Mörel line is laid underground, the existing 220-kilovolt Mörel – Pallanzeno line (Simplon line) in the Termin/Brig area will be preserved as an overhead line.
  • Underground cabling has already been examined within the scope of the SPTL evaluation for the Pfyn forest area (protected landscape – area 1716 Pfyn forest – Illgraben). After applying the protection criteria, the responsible authorities decided that the future 380-kilovolt Chippis – Mörel line would be planned as an overhead line. The route of the line along the southern foot of the slope and the underground cabling/bundling of lower voltage lines according to the «Pfyn forest line concept» will result in an overall improvement.

People & environment

Landscape

The new extra-high-voltage line will be built on the shaded southern slope further away from the settlement areas. The western part will be constructed at a height of 600 metres to 1,400 metres above sea level, while the eastern part will be up to 1,200 metres above sea level. The line avoids higher, exposed areas. It crosses numerous valleys and trenches, such as the Illgraben, the Nanztal and Vispertal valleys as well as the Saltinaschlucht gorge. Additional visual impact arises in the municipality of Turtmann as well as at the Visp/Stalden valley crossing.

The dismantling of the existing line will relieve the burden significantly on settled areas and leisure facilities. This line runs through the centre of the villages in the Niedergampel, Gampel, Raron and Baltschieder region and hinders their settlement development. In Visp, the settlement area on the western slope is bypassed, as well as in the south and on the eastern slope. The steep slope means that the new line will pass above the town and will be more visible from the surrounding hiking paths than from the town centre. South of Visp, the new line crosses the Vispertal valley near the new motorway bridge. This is particularly visible from Visperterminen.

The bundling of the new line with the existing 220-kilovolt Stalden – Visp – Mörel line provides additional relief for the area around Visp up to Bitsch. In Visp, the existing Stalden – Lalden line will be dismantled from the branch pylon in Lalden, via Lonza-Werke up to the intersection with the new 380-kilovolt line.

Nature conservation

The line crosses the protected Pfyn forest nature park shortly after the Chippis substation. The line route therefore leads along the base of the slope to ensure that it has as little impact as possible. In the Pfyn forest, the two Chippis – Mörel and Chippis – Stalden lines will be bundled along the same route. In addition, lines with lower voltage levels will be laid underground or bundled. The burden on this unique pine forest will be massively reduced compared to the current situation.

Electromagnetic fields

The burden on the population will be reduced by the greater distance of the line to the settlements. The limit of 1 μT for electromagnetic radiation will be complied with across the board, with some areas reporting values well below this limit. The noise burden will be significantly reduced thanks to the use of the latest technologies and triple conductors.


Grid news

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  • | News

    Chamoson – Chippis: supplementary geological study

    In 2015, the cantonal geologist of the Valais requested an additional «natural hazards» study within the framework of the Chamoson – Chippis extra-high-voltage transmission line project.
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