The construction of a new high-voltage substation with associated underground high-voltage cables and take-off points for the grid reinforcement project in the western part of the province of Friesland can go ahead. The Administrative Law Division of the Dutch Council of State announced this in a ruling this week.
In January 2021, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate and the Minister of Housing and Spatial Planning adopted the ‘Netversterking westelijk Friesland’ zoning plan. With the plan, the ministers want to strengthen the 110 kV grid in the northern part of the Netherlands.
Capacity analyses conducted by TenneT have shown that the existing electricity grid in the western part of the province of Fryslan will need to be reinforced, due to the increasing demand for electricity combined with the large-scale generation of renewable energy in the province, including the operational Fryslân wind farm. The grid expansion is needed to connect sustainable energy initiatives to the electricity grid and continue to guarantee the security of supply of electricity in this region, now and in the future.
New high-voltage substation
Part of the plan is the construction of a high-voltage substation on the territory of the municipality of Súdwest-Fryslân, to the west of Bolsward adjacent to the existing De Marne business park. Four underground 110-kV cable circuits will run from the new high-voltage station in a southwesterly direction to connect an existing underground 110-kV cable near the A7 to the new high-voltage station. In addition, six underground 110-kV cable circuits will run from the new high-voltage station in a northeasterly direction toward the existing high-voltage line near Bolsward, where the six underground cable circuits will loop into the existing 110-kV ring via two take-off points. A connection will be made to two existing high-voltage pylons. TenneT and Windpark Fryslân B.V. are the joint initiators of the project.
The Municipal Executive of Súdwest-Fryslân granted an environmental permit for this plan to TenneT in January 2021.
Two local residents disagree with the zoning plan and the environmental permit. Among other things, they fear negative consequences for their living and working environment and for their health due to exposure to magnetic fields at the high-voltage station. One of them has a dairy farm and also fears for the health of his cattle. He further fears loss of farmland. The underground high-voltage cables are planned to the north of his farm site and cross the farmland leased by him for the purpose of his dairy farm. According to him, another route could have been chosen. They therefore appealed to the Administrative Law Division of the Council of State. The latter heard the case at a hearing on July 10, 2023.
The Division however ruled both the objections to the zoning permit and the environmental permit unfounded. This means that the construction of the high-voltage substation with associated underground high-voltage cables and take-off points can go ahead. Source: Dutch Council of State