Evaluation of new 380 kV altering current overhead electric power lines regarding visual landscape and avifauna.

In the future, the majority of the renewable energy will be generated isolated from consumers and electricity consumption hubs. Consequently, efficient power transport over long distances will be necessary. The German requirements plan (electricity) regularly defines the transmission network expansion for the coming 10 years. According to a preference provision for overhead power lines by the law on the energy industry, it can be anticipated that the expansion of the existing altering current network will most likely occur by overhead electric power lines. However, the acceptance for the visual dominance of high-voltage overhead electric power lines in Germany is low. A reduction of the visual effects on landscapes, e.g. through lower towers and an inconspicuous arrangement of the electric power lines with respect to potential consequences for the avifauna, could significantly increase public acceptance.

Since spring 2015, a cooperation between OECOS Ltd., the Leuphana University of Lüneburg and SAG Ltd. performs a research and development study on the evaluation of innovative 380 kV overhead electric power lines, relating to their legal reliability and visual landscape assessment in different areas of operation („Bewertung innovativer 380 kV Freileitungsmastsystem bezüglich deren rechtlicher Zuverlässigkeit sowie Landschaftsbildauswertungen in unterschiedlichen Einsatzgebieten“). In this cooperation, SAG Ltd. designs these new overhead electric power lines; OECOS Ltd. evaluates them on their visual landscape and avifauna impacts, visualises their possibilities in different types of landscapes and in different regions of Germany; and the Leuphana University of Lüneburg attends to juridical problems, e.g. the problem of a shared usage of electric power lines by different Transmission Network Operators.