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The backbone of the transmission network consists of powerful 330 kV overhead lines intended for the transmission of large electricity volumes. The majority of the lines are 110 kV overhead lines ensuring electricity supply to regions. Furthermore, the transmission network includes one 220 kV overhead line, several underground cable lines (mainly in Tallinn), and undersea cables, incl. the cables of EstLink direct current links between Estonia and Finland. Distribution of the transmission network lines by voltage classes and types is following:

  • 1,697 kilometres of 330 kV lines;
  • 158 kilometres of 220 kV lines;
  • 3,493 kilometres of 110 kV lines;
  • 58 kilometres of 35 kV lines.

Information about location of lines is available from the electricity transmission network map.

Overhead lines

Towers provide primary information about the voltage class of overhead lines. The higher the voltage, the larger and higher the towers.

Height of lines.jpg

The voltage class of a line can be easily visually identified by counting the number of insulator disks in the insulators. The more insulation disks there are, the higher the voltage.

 

Line voltage Length of insulator Number of disks in the insulator
110 kV Approximately 1 metre 7 - 8
220 kV Approximately 2 metres 14 - 16
330 kV Approximately 3 metres 20 - 28

 

An overview of the high voltage line and tower elements is provided in the following figure.

Parts of lines_0.jpg

 

Cable lines

Elering has more than 100 km of cable lines in Estonia, including

  • approximately 64 km of 110 kV underground cables;
  • approximately 51 km of 35 kV undersea cables.

Furthermore, Elering operates direct current links EstLink 1 and EstLink 2 between Estonia and Finland. Both links include underground as well as undersea cables.

 

 

 

Protection zone is the land, air space or water surrounding electrical installations, where the use of the area is restricted for safety reasons. The size of the protection zone depends on the voltage of the electrical installation.

Protection zone for overhead line

Protection zones for overhead lines are the land and air within an area on either side of the lines which extends infinitely vertically, and on each side of the lines by 25 metres for 110 kV lines and by 40 metres for 220 kV and 330 kV lines.

 110 kv overhead lines_0.jpg

 

220-330 kv overhead lines_0.jpg

Protection zone for underground cable

Protection zone for an underground cable is the area along the length of the cable extending 1 metre on each side from outermost cables of the line and infinitely vertically.

Protection zone for submarine cable

Protection zone for a submarine cable is the water area along the length of the cable extending from the surface to the bottom, extending 100 metres on each side from outermost cables of the line on the seabed and infinitely vertically.

Protection zone for overhead line located above navigable inland water bodies

Protection zone for an overhead line located above navigable inland water bodies is the area along the length of the line extending 100 metres on each side from outermost cables of the line and infinitely vertically.

Protection zone for substations and distribution equipment

The protection zone around substations and distribution equipment extends 2 metres from the surrounding fence or wall, or from the equipment itself, if there is no fence or wall.

Risks and restrictions in the protection zone of line

In the protection zone of an electrical installation, it is prohibited to:

  • restrict access to the electrical installation;
  • cause contamination or corrosion of the electrical installation, or to cause any other situation which may endanger people, property, or the environment;
  • organise mass events in the protection zone of an overhead line of a high voltage installation.

Without the permission of the owner of an electrical installation it is prohibited to:

  • construct anything, store waste, materials, and substances;
  • perform any excavation, loading, dredging, blasting or land improvement operations;
  • make fire, plant or fell trees;
  • drive with machinery and mechanisms with a total height from ground surface over 4.5 metres with or without load;
  • construct wire fences or establish drinking sites for animals;
  • use impact mechanisms, level the surface, perform excavations deeper than 0.3 m, or 0.45 m in arable land, or store and transport loads in the protection zone of underground cable lines.

The owner of land, air space or water body in the protection zone of an electrical installation must allow the owner of the installation to organise maintenance work on the electrical installation and in its protection zone. Owners of land must be notified of the time and duration of the maintenance work in advance.

Any person operating in the protection zone of an electrical installation must prevent damaging or causing risk of damage to the electrical installation. In the case of damaging or risk of damage to the electrical installation, relevant measures must be taken to prevent further damage, and the owner of the electrical installation must be immediately notified.

Operations in the protection zone of lines is regulated by sections 70 and 77 of the Building Code and the regulation of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure.

 

Irrigation of fields and pastures

Irrigation equipment must be installed in a way that no water can reach closer than 5 metres to the wires.

 

Mining and digging drainage ditches

An application for work in the protection zone of electrical installation must be submitted for performing these activities. When establishing gravel or sand quarries, the following must be ensured to receive a permit for work in the protection zone:

  • safe operation of vehicles and mechanisms;
  • access to towers with maintenance equipment during and after excavation work;
  • persistence and integrity of earthing installations of towers.

When applying for a relevant approval, please submit relevant drawings and schemes to be followed during further activities.

 

Felling trees in the protection zone

For felling trees in the protection zone, an application for work in the protection zone of an electrical installation must be submitted to Elering. The application must be submitted at least 10 days before commencement of the planned activities to the address info@elering.ee.

After the submission of the application, the site manager contacts the owner of the land in 10 days at the latest to ensure that the planned work can be performed safely. After the identification of potential risks and introduction of safe working methods, the site manager issues a permit for working in the protection zone of an electrical installation.

Before felling a tree, ensure that all technical aspects have been considered and all precautions have been taken. Trees must be felled parallel to the line or towards the forest, i.e. in opposite direction to the line. Felling trees towards power lines is strictly forbidden.

However, if a tree starts to fall towards the line, proceed as follows:

  • stop immediately any operations related to felling the tree;
  • retreat quickly at least 20 metres from the tree, preventing a situation where both feet touch the ground simultaneously (to avoid step potential);
  • if the tree has fallen so close to the line that it has caused a short circuit or is resting on the line, you must immediately notify the site manager of Elering lines (contact phone number is available on the permit for working in the protection zone of an electrical installation);
  • do not approach the tree under any circumstances, even to recover a saw;
  • wait for electricity experts, who will remove the tree from the line.

When collecting and storing timber, ensure that movement with lifting equipment and loads is safe.

 

Agriculture

There are no restrictions to work with agricultural machines in the protection zone of lines. However, the use of machinery and equipment whose operating height may exceed 4.5 metres (e.g. lifts, loaders, etc.) must be avoided under the wires and closer than 5 metres to the wires. Particular care must be taken when moving with machinery near the towers, as getting entangled in stay wires or contact with a tower may cause danger and lead to claims for compensating any caused damages.

If a machine gets too close to the wires and a flashover has occurred or the machine becomes energised, proceed as follows:

  • do not exit the machine, as there is no immediate danger inside the vehicle;
  • if the machine is not caught in the wires, try to retreat in opposite direction to the initial direction;
  • if tyres of the machine are smoking or have caught fire, leave the machine (by jumping) without touching it while on the ground. Then, retreat at least 20 metres from the machine, preventing a situation where both feet touch the ground simultaneously (to avoid step potential);
  • notify the Rescue Board of the incident and guard the place of accident until electricity experts arrive to prevent endangering any third persons.

· To avoid later disputes, it is important to obtain all approvals and resolve any issues related to the construction of buildings in the protection zones of lines during the stage of drafting and coordination of plans and projects. For that purpose, contact the site manager of the relevant area already in the initial stage of planning.

 

Construction

To avoid later disputes, it is important to obtain all approvals and resolve any issues related to the construction of buildings in the protection zones of lines during the stage of drafting and coordination of plans and projects. For that purpose, contact the site manager of the relevant area already in the initial stage of planning.

 

 

  • Climbing on towers is strictly forbidden as it is dangerous to life.
  • Using kites and other similar flying objects near overhead lines is dangerous to the life and health of the user.
  • If you notice a tree on the edge of the cleared corridor around the lines leaning heavily towards the lines, please inform the owner of the lines.
  • During and after storms and thunderstorms extreme caution must be paid near overhead lines, as a wire or lightning cable may be fallen from the tower. Touching fallen wires (cables) is strictly forbidden and approaching them within 10 metres is dangerous. If you find a wire (lightning cable) fallen from a tower, you must immediately notify the Rescue Board by phone 112. If it is found in a place visited often by people, guard the danger zone until experts arrive.
  • If the wires are covered in wet snow or if there is a thaw and the wires hang dangerously close to a road or the ground, then all movement under them should be stopped and the lines owner should be informed.

 

Contact Elering by phone +372 715 1222, outside business hours please leave a message at the address info@elering.ee. In emergency situations contact the Rescue Board.

 

In order to ensure the constant functioning of the Estonian electricity system and proper supply of electricity to customers, Elering performs the following work on their lines and in the protection zones:

  • Regular inspections of the lines for detecting any possible defects and registration of vegetation growth, conducted on foot.
  • Special inspections of the lines for detecting defective sites, usually conducted on foot, but in extreme weather conditions also from the air with a helicopter or light aircraft.
  • Line maintenance work in protection zones – brush removal, widening of line corridors, scheduled technical maintenance (replacement of insulators, trim/repair of towers and wires, etc.).
  • Elimination of failures and defects – removal of fallen trees from lines and replacement or repair of damaged wires, elimination of dangerous defects detected during regular inspection.
  • Renovation of lines – replacement of wires, lightning conductors and insulators, installation of fibre optic cable, etc.

Widening of Line Corridors

The maintenance of line corridors includes regular brush cutting and periodic widening of the line corridors within the protection zone to avoid trees that are growing in the zone falling onto the power lines.

Widening of the line corridor if the work is done by Elering:

Elering uses a public procurement to find a contractor who:

  • informs the landowner of the work to be done, which includes marking the boundaries of the protection zone and the owner’s property, doing an inventory of the forest inside the zone to calculate how much timber is to be felled, and measuring the ground area to be cleared;
  • assesses the value of the forest and the area to be cleared;
  • fills out all the necessary notifications and delivers them to the landowner with the agreement form;
  • explains the importance of these documents to the landowner and helps the landowner complete the agreement forms;
  • delivers the signed paperwork to the Environment Agency;
  • puts together copies of the signed agreements and forest notifications and delivers them to the Elering site manager for the area.

 

Elering holds a public procurement to find a contractor who will carry out the clearance work on the property correctly and in accordance with prior agreements signed between Elering and the landowner.

Elering uses a public procurement to find a contractor who:

  • informs the landowner of the start of the work and its approximate end date;
  • carries out the line corridor widening work of felling, trimming and sorting the trees and taking them to the place designated by the landowner at the edge of the property in accordance with agreements signed between Elering and the landowner;
  • obtains a signature from the landowner that the work has been completed.

 

The landowner checks the quantity and quality of the work done and signs the confirmation.

 

Widening of the line corridors if the work is done by the landowner:

Elering informs the landowner of the options, requirements and dangers of the work, the maximum price that can be paid for it, and the work contract conditions.

The landowner (if registered as self-employed) or an authorised company:

  • signs a work contract with Elering;
  • applies to do work in the protection zone of a power line;
  • carries out the corridor widening work;
  • measures the amount of timber felled together with an Elering representative if this was not done during the earlier assessments;
  • completes the end-of-work paperwork once the work is finished;
  • invoices Elering for the work as agreed in the contract.

 

Elering transfers the payment for the work done to the landowner’s bank account.

 

Approvals

Work in the protection zone of an electrical installation belonging to Elering, movement of vehicles with large trailers with a height over 4.5 m on Estonian roads passing under Elering’s power lines, and regional detailed plans must be coordinated with Elering.

Consents and coordinations

 

Pursuant to the Law of Property Act, the owner of land is entitled to apply for compensation for tolerating utility networks and engineering structures. Read more about toleration payments.

Protection zone is the land, air space or water surrounding electrical installations, where the use of the area is restricted for safety reasons. The size of the protection zone depends on the voltage of the electrical installation.

Protection zone for overhead line

Protection zones for overhead lines are the land and air within an area on either side of the lines which extends infinitely vertically, and on each side of the lines by 25 metres for 110 kV lines and by 40 metres for 220 kV and 330 kV lines.

 110 kv overhead lines_0.jpg

 

220-330 kv overhead lines_0.jpg

Protection zone for underground cable

Protection zone for an underground cable is the area along the length of the cable extending 1 metre on each side from outermost cables of the line and infinitely vertically.

Protection zone for submarine cable

Protection zone for a submarine cable is the water area along the length of the cable extending from the surface to the bottom, extending 100 metres on each side from outermost cables of the line on the seabed and infinitely vertically.

Protection zone for overhead line located above navigable inland water bodies

Protection zone for an overhead line located above navigable inland water bodies is the area along the length of the line extending 100 metres on each side from outermost cables of the line and infinitely vertically.

Protection zone for substations and distribution equipment

The protection zone around substations and distribution equipment extends 2 metres from the surrounding fence or wall, or from the equipment itself, if there is no fence or wall.

Risks and restrictions in the protection zone of line

In the protection zone of an electrical installation, it is prohibited to:

  • restrict access to the electrical installation;
  • cause contamination or corrosion of the electrical installation, or to cause any other situation which may endanger people, property, or the environment;
  • organise mass events in the protection zone of an overhead line of a high voltage installation.

Without the permission of the owner of an electrical installation it is prohibited to:

  • construct anything, store waste, materials, and substances;
  • perform any excavation, loading, dredging, blasting or land improvement operations;
  • make fire, plant or fell trees;
  • drive with machinery and mechanisms with a total height from ground surface over 4.5 metres with or without load;
  • construct wire fences or establish drinking sites for animals;
  • use impact mechanisms, level the surface, perform excavations deeper than 0.3 m, or 0.45 m in arable land, or store and transport loads in the protection zone of underground cable lines.

The owner of land, air space or water body in the protection zone of an electrical installation must allow the owner of the installation to organise maintenance work on the electrical installation and in its protection zone. Owners of land must be notified of the time and duration of the maintenance work in advance.

Any person operating in the protection zone of an electrical installation must prevent damaging or causing risk of damage to the electrical installation. In the case of damaging or risk of damage to the electrical installation, relevant measures must be taken to prevent further damage, and the owner of the electrical installation must be immediately notified.

Operations in the protection zone of lines is regulated by sections 70 and 77 of the Building Code and the regulation of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure.

 

Irrigation of fields and pastures

Irrigation equipment must be installed in a way that no water can reach closer than 5 metres to the wires.

 

Mining and digging drainage ditches

An application for work in the protection zone of electrical installation must be submitted for performing these activities. When establishing gravel or sand quarries, the following must be ensured to receive a permit for work in the protection zone:

  • safe operation of vehicles and mechanisms;
  • access to towers with maintenance equipment during and after excavation work;
  • persistence and integrity of earthing installations of towers.

When applying for a relevant approval, please submit relevant drawings and schemes to be followed during further activities.

 

Felling trees in the protection zone

For felling trees in the protection zone, an application for work in the protection zone of an electrical installation must be submitted to Elering. The application must be submitted at least 10 days before commencement of the planned activities to the address info@elering.ee.

After the submission of the application, the site manager contacts the owner of the land in 10 days at the latest to ensure that the planned work can be performed safely. After the identification of potential risks and introduction of safe working methods, the site manager issues a permit for working in the protection zone of an electrical installation.

Before felling a tree, ensure that all technical aspects have been considered and all precautions have been taken. Trees must be felled parallel to the line or towards the forest, i.e. in opposite direction to the line. Felling trees towards power lines is strictly forbidden.

However, if a tree starts to fall towards the line, proceed as follows:

  • stop immediately any operations related to felling the tree;
  • retreat quickly at least 20 metres from the tree, preventing a situation where both feet touch the ground simultaneously (to avoid step potential);
  • if the tree has fallen so close to the line that it has caused a short circuit or is resting on the line, you must immediately notify the site manager of Elering lines (contact phone number is available on the permit for working in the protection zone of an electrical installation);
  • do not approach the tree under any circumstances, even to recover a saw;
  • wait for electricity experts, who will remove the tree from the line.

When collecting and storing timber, ensure that movement with lifting equipment and loads is safe.

 

Agriculture

There are no restrictions to work with agricultural machines in the protection zone of lines. However, the use of machinery and equipment whose operating height may exceed 4.5 metres (e.g. lifts, loaders, etc.) must be avoided under the wires and closer than 5 metres to the wires. Particular care must be taken when moving with machinery near the towers, as getting entangled in stay wires or contact with a tower may cause danger and lead to claims for compensating any caused damages.

If a machine gets too close to the wires and a flashover has occurred or the machine becomes energised, proceed as follows:

  • do not exit the machine, as there is no immediate danger inside the vehicle;
  • if the machine is not caught in the wires, try to retreat in opposite direction to the initial direction;
  • if tyres of the machine are smoking or have caught fire, leave the machine (by jumping) without touching it while on the ground. Then, retreat at least 20 metres from the machine, preventing a situation where both feet touch the ground simultaneously (to avoid step potential);
  • notify the Rescue Board of the incident and guard the place of accident until electricity experts arrive to prevent endangering any third persons.

· To avoid later disputes, it is important to obtain all approvals and resolve any issues related to the construction of buildings in the protection zones of lines during the stage of drafting and coordination of plans and projects. For that purpose, contact the site manager of the relevant area already in the initial stage of planning.

 

Construction

To avoid later disputes, it is important to obtain all approvals and resolve any issues related to the construction of buildings in the protection zones of lines during the stage of drafting and coordination of plans and projects. For that purpose, contact the site manager of the relevant area already in the initial stage of planning.

 

 

  • Climbing on towers is strictly forbidden as it is dangerous to life.
  • Using kites and other similar flying objects near overhead lines is dangerous to the life and health of the user.
  • If you notice a tree on the edge of the cleared corridor around the lines leaning heavily towards the lines, please inform the owner of the lines.
  • During and after storms and thunderstorms extreme caution must be paid near overhead lines, as a wire or lightning cable may be fallen from the tower. Touching fallen wires (cables) is strictly forbidden and approaching them within 10 metres is dangerous. If you find a wire (lightning cable) fallen from a tower, you must immediately notify the Rescue Board by phone 112. If it is found in a place visited often by people, guard the danger zone until experts arrive.
  • If the wires are covered in wet snow or if there is a thaw and the wires hang dangerously close to a road or the ground, then all movement under them should be stopped and the lines owner should be informed.

 

Contact Elering by phone +372 715 1222, outside business hours please leave a message at the address info@elering.ee. In emergency situations contact the Rescue Board.

 

In order to ensure the constant functioning of the Estonian electricity system and proper supply of electricity to customers, Elering performs the following work on their lines and in the protection zones:

  • Regular inspections of the lines for detecting any possible defects and registration of vegetation growth, conducted on foot.
  • Special inspections of the lines for detecting defective sites, usually conducted on foot, but in extreme weather conditions also from the air with a helicopter or light aircraft.
  • Line maintenance work in protection zones – brush removal, widening of line corridors, scheduled technical maintenance (replacement of insulators, trim/repair of towers and wires, etc.).
  • Elimination of failures and defects – removal of fallen trees from lines and replacement or repair of damaged wires, elimination of dangerous defects detected during regular inspection.
  • Renovation of lines – replacement of wires, lightning conductors and insulators, installation of fibre optic cable, etc.

Widening of Line Corridors

The maintenance of line corridors includes regular brush cutting and periodic widening of the line corridors within the protection zone to avoid trees that are growing in the zone falling onto the power lines.

Widening of the line corridor if the work is done by Elering:

Elering uses a public procurement to find a contractor who:

  • informs the landowner of the work to be done, which includes marking the boundaries of the protection zone and the owner’s property, doing an inventory of the forest inside the zone to calculate how much timber is to be felled, and measuring the ground area to be cleared;
  • assesses the value of the forest and the area to be cleared;
  • fills out all the necessary notifications and delivers them to the landowner with the agreement form;
  • explains the importance of these documents to the landowner and helps the landowner complete the agreement forms;
  • delivers the signed paperwork to the Environment Agency;
  • puts together copies of the signed agreements and forest notifications and delivers them to the Elering site manager for the area.

 

Elering holds a public procurement to find a contractor who will carry out the clearance work on the property correctly and in accordance with prior agreements signed between Elering and the landowner.

Elering uses a public procurement to find a contractor who:

  • informs the landowner of the start of the work and its approximate end date;
  • carries out the line corridor widening work of felling, trimming and sorting the trees and taking them to the place designated by the landowner at the edge of the property in accordance with agreements signed between Elering and the landowner;
  • obtains a signature from the landowner that the work has been completed.

 

The landowner checks the quantity and quality of the work done and signs the confirmation.

 

Widening of the line corridors if the work is done by the landowner:

Elering informs the landowner of the options, requirements and dangers of the work, the maximum price that can be paid for it, and the work contract conditions.

The landowner (if registered as self-employed) or an authorised company:

  • signs a work contract with Elering;
  • applies to do work in the protection zone of a power line;
  • carries out the corridor widening work;
  • measures the amount of timber felled together with an Elering representative if this was not done during the earlier assessments;
  • completes the end-of-work paperwork once the work is finished;
  • invoices Elering for the work as agreed in the contract.

 

Elering transfers the payment for the work done to the landowner’s bank account.

 

Approvals

Work in the protection zone of an electrical installation belonging to Elering, movement of vehicles with large trailers with a height over 4.5 m on Estonian roads passing under Elering’s power lines, and regional detailed plans must be coordinated with Elering.

Consents and coordinations

 

Pursuant to the Law of Property Act, the owner of land is entitled to apply for compensation for tolerating utility networks and engineering structures. Read more about toleration payments.

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