Environmental impact
PSE endeavours to reconcile the reliable and efficient operation of the power system with its development whilst respecting the natural environment.

Our every power project meets the legal requirements for the impact of extra-high voltage infrastructure on the environment.

Polish safety standards for electric and magnetic field impact for areas intended for housing and locations accessible to the public are among the most restrictive in the world.
We are actively working towards preservation of biodiversity in areas where we undertake transmission system development projects. PSE’s projects are conducted in such a way as to minimise interference with the environment.
By implementing in 2012 the Environmental Management System compliant with the ISO 14001 standard, we have committed to comply with legal regulations and to follow good environmental practices. We have also imposed this commitment on the contractors and subcontractors for our investment projects. We jointly endeavour to ensure that each stage of the project implementation process is characterised by care for the environment: from planning, to its operation, taking into account the whole range of aspects, such as remedial measures related to protection against soil and groundwater pollution, limiting losses in habitats and species, and emergency management, minimising noise emissions and proper waste management.
We deliver investment projects in a manner that allows key threats to nature to be minimised and the risk of biodiversity loss to be avoided. As early as the line route and substation location planning stage, we take care to ensure that infrastructure interferes as little as possible with areas of high natural value. In successive stages of project implementation, we analyse technical and technological options for minimising impacts related to the implementation and subsequent operation of network facilities. In the case of completed projects for which the environmental monitoring obligation has been prescribed in environmental decisions, we focus on performing such monitoring and analysing the results obtained. This allows us to assess whether the measures we take are effective, and thus whether we have managed to minimise impact on the natural environment. Thanks to this, in the next few years, we will be able to assess, e.g., which of the diverters used on ground wires designed to warn birds against collision with EHV lines prove the best.
Unavoidable consequences of PSE project implementation include a loss of a part of habitats due to tree removal in the impact zone, especially in forest areas. Owing to the use of over-forest or forest towers, we can significantly reduce the removal of trees (a “forest” tower is a pylon which, together with V-shaped insulator strings, allows wires to be suspended closer to the pylon structure, and thus to reduce the line width, whereas an “over-forest” tower allows wires to be suspended above tree canopies).
Both at the project implementation and operation stage, we endeavour to carry out tree clearance work in the line right of way in such a manner as to limit its impact, outside the breeding season and under naturalists’ supervision. In consequence of EHV line construction, certain habitats are lost as a result of conversion of the land in which they occurred, but new habitats appear in their place, inhabited by other plant and animal species. Due to the removal of undergrowth under an EHV line, there are more plants typical of open areas and the quantity of insects on which birds feed increases.
As we try to run lines so as to minimise interference with areas inhabited by valuable and rare species, the need for nature compensation arises extremely rarely. Damage to stations of widely occurring species, which does not have a significant impact on population survival, does not require nature compensation (according to Article 75 of the Environmental Law) related to its regeneration.
Tab. Example costs of environmental monitoring for PSE infrastructural projects incurred in 2019
Name of investment projecto Monitoring costs incurred in 2019)
Construction of the Bydgoszcz Zachód – Piła Krzewina 400 kV line PLN 175,000.00
Construction of the Kozienice – Siedlce Ujrzanów 400 kV line PLN 48,000.00
Construction of the Gdańsk Przyjaźń – Żydowo Kierzkowo 400 kV line PLN 14,000.00
Construction of the Olsztyn Mątki – Ostrołęka 400 kV line PLN 220,000.00
Construction of the Jasiniec – Grudziądz Węgrowo 400 kV line PLN 92,780.00
Construction of the Czarna – Polkowice 400 kV line PLN 5,916.65
Construction of the 400 kV line including change of the EHV network configuration between Warsaw agglomeration and Siedlce PLN 58,000.00
Construction of the 400 kV line from Dobrzeń to the Pasikurowice – Wrocław line tap PLN 5,500.00
Examples of the nature compensation measures taken by PSE in connection with the destruction of habitats as a result of the construction and maintenance of network infrastructure and the status of their preservation in the years after the facilities were put into operation

Nature compensation in connection with line or substation construction

At both the construction and operation stages, negative impacts on plant and animal habitats can be observed, which can lead to reduced biodiversity.

In order to minimise the project impact on protected species, the implementation of investment projects is preceded, where required, by the procedure leading to the decision on environmental conditions, in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations. Decisions obtained by PSE confirm that the proposed investment projects comply with the requirements of applicable laws and regulations so as to minimise their environmental impact. In the case of projects for which the environmental impact assessment report is required, a comprehensive nature survey is carried out, covering the entire vegetation cycle. This makes it possible to determine whether a new project can affect plant, fungi and animal species occurring in a given area. The documentation also takes into account the impact of projects on people and other environmental components. Nature compensation can also be conducted in the case where interference with protected areas or habitats of protected species is unavoidable; ban exemption decisions are then obtained, i.e. derogation decisions under which protected species are caught, transferred or destroyed in the project implementation process , and where possible, their habitats are restored. Compensation measures are aimed to restore natural balance in the area concerned and to compensate for environmental damage.
Examples of compensation measures
Expansion of the Byczyna Substation
In the course of the Byczyna substation expansion and upgrade project (including the 400 kV line exit in Jaworzno), it was necessary to destroy a stretch of meadow forming part of the Natura 2000 habitat – Molinia meadows (Molinion). There were 3 protected species in the destroyed area: the broad-leaved marsh orchid Dactylorhiza majalis L), Turkish marsh gladiolus (Gladiolus imbricatus L.), and Siberian iris (Iris sibirica L.).

In 2015, protected species were transplanted and pursuant to Decision WPN.6400.33.2014.MS.5 of 12 May 2015 mowing is performed at the species transfer locations. Mowing is carried out in a biannual cycle (2016, 2018, 2020...) always after 20 August in order to enable seeds to germinate and to sow valuable plant species. Pursuant to Decision WOOŚ-4242.108.2015.IŁ of 11 March 2016, once a year mowing is carried out on the remaining plots in the Byczyna Substation area with an area of approx. 3 ha with Molinia meadows. The above work is performed in order to preserve in in the long term the meadow habitat which is a natural site for the butterfly species: the dusky large blue (Phengaris nausithous) and the scarce large blue (Phengaris teleius), as the sites are at risk due to disuse and natural succession.
Construction of the Bydgoszcz Zachód-Piła Krzewina power line
During the construction of the Bydgoszcz Zachód-Piła Krzewina power line, pursuant to Environmental Decision WOO.4202.1.2014.KŚ.118 of 29 July 2016, early marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) specimens situated in the vicinity of Tower 185 were transplanted within the same habitat – lowland extensively used fresh meadows ( Arrhenatherion elatioris). The transplantation was performed in 2019 under nature conservation supervision. The plant was excavated with a sufficient excess root clump and manually transferred to a location meeting its habitat criteria.
GRI EU13 Biodiversity of nature compensation compared to the biodiversity of affected areas
Item Biodiversity of compensatory habitats in terms of: Period of biodiversity monitoring and reporting in distanced locations
Habitat area (km2) Main protected species Habitat description (e.g. wetlands, grasslands, forests etc.)
1 0.59 No protected species. Plantings were made with the following species: Scots pine, silver birch, Norway spruce, black alder, English oak, larch, lime and hornbeam agricultural and forest lands 2019
2 3.2 Dusky large blue (Phengaris nausithous), Scarce large blue (Phengaris teleius), Broad-leaved marsh orchid Dactylorhiza majalis L), Turkish Marsh Gladiolus (Gladiolus imbricatus L.), Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica L.). Molinia meadows 2019
Protection of the osprey
In 2019, PSE, together with the National Forest Holding, started another stage of measures for the protection of the osprey. 5 special platforms were installed on which birds can build their nests.
Osprey is one of the rarest birds of prey in Poland. According to statistics kept by the Eagle Protection Committee, there are only 25 to 30 pairs of those animals living in Poland today, and some of them inhabit areas in the vicinity of electric power infrastructure.
The installation of platforms for ospreys on power towers is a good and proven practice complementary to tree-mounted platforms. It is used e.g. in Germany, where approx. one third of the osprey population nest on high-voltage towers. Nests protected this way are more likely to be inhabited by birds.
The construction of platforms for osprey brooding nests is a continuation of activities initiated by PSE in 2014. In the Lipka Forest District, our company’s employees mounted a platform on an extra-high voltage line tower, on which ospreys living in the neighbourhood could build a nest.
New brooding nest platforms, installed in 2019, were mounted in Gryfino and Międzychód Forest Districts in Zachodniopomorskie, Wielkopolskie and Lubuskie voivodeships. They are all installed along the internal and cross-border extra-high voltage overhead lines:
  • 400 kV Krajnik-Vierraden;
  • 220 kV Krajnik-Plewiska;
  • 220 kV Krajnik-Glinki.