16.09.2020 – Axpo plans to increase the voltage in its power lines in the Schaffhausen region in order to improve security of supply. Under the project, the existing overhead line going through the Schaffhausen nature park will be taken down and replaced with underground cabling. A total of 70 pylons will be removed, which will greatly enhance the landscape in the area. Planning approval has been granted.
The expansion of grid infrastructure is the basis for reliable power supply. In order to meet growing demands, Axpo is gradually increasing the voltage of its national distribution grid from 50 kV to 110 kV. Under this project, the existing overhead line between the Wilchingen substation and the Neuhausen substation (pylon 1 to pylon 70) in the Canton of Schaffhausen will be replaced with underground cabling for a distance of 13.3 kilometres. The decision for this solution came about in close collaboration with the responsible authorities and various interest groups. The Swiss Federal Inspectorate for Heavy Current Installations ESTI recently approved Axpo's project plan.
The Canton of Schaffhausen electricity utility (EKS) also plans to replace its 16-kV overhead line between Neuhausen and Wilchingen with underground cabling in the course of the project in order to take advantage of synergies.
A large section of the line runs through the Schaffhausen nature park, which is a protected landscape of national importance. With this in mind, the cable conduits starting at the Wilchingen substation will be placed in the ground using ploughs. This method is more efficient and less damaging to the ground because no construction roads are needed. In addition, ploughing prevents the shifting of soil materials. Breeding season will also be taken into account. The method chosen enables faster construction and minimises the impacts on human-beings, wildlife and the environment.
Construction work is scheduled to begin at the end of 2020. Construction traffic must be expected from this time forward. The existing overhead line will be dismantled after the new cable is commissioned.