Environmental matters

1.1.12 Environmental matters

Fingrid has a long-term approach to its environmental impacts and land use issues, and the principles for minimising environmental impacts are accounted for in our land use and environmental policy. The key aspects include an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and preparedness for environmental risks. During 2016, Fingrid signed the energy efficiency agreement of Finnish industries 2017–2025 and committed to the target of cutting energy use by six per cent by 2025.

Environmental management was developed during the year by establishing a management system in compliance with the ISO 14 001 standard for the reserve power plants and by introducing an online training course on environmental issues for all personnel working at Fingrid sites. Environmental training was provided during the kick-off meetings for investment projects, and training was also provided on the use of chemicals, the management of safety data sheets and oil spill response for the providers of maintenance services at substations and reserve power plants. Environmental aspects were monitored as part of work site monitoring. Compliance with environmental requirements, occupational safety and contractor obligations was verified in 15 audits.

Several development projects were carried out to improve fire safety at substations and reserve power plants. Oil spill response plans were created and emergency response plans were updated at all reserve power plants. One significant environmental deviation occurred during the year, as around 180 litres of oil was leaked from a worksite at the Isokangas substation.

In 2016, Fingrid issued around 260 statements on land-use plans and EIAs. In addition, the company directed the construction taking place near grid installations by issuing statements containing safety guidelines and land use restrictions. Some 420 such statements were issued.

EIAs were carried out for six transmission line projects in 2016. Two events were arranged to inform the public about the environmental impacts of the power lines required to connect the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant to the grid; the EIA process for the project was completed in October 2016. A Natura assessment update was carried out for this project in compliance with the Nature Conservation Act. An EIA was completed for five transmission line projects (Hämeenlahti–Hännilä, Kontiolahti–Pamilo, Kontiolahti–Uimaharju, Siikajoki–Raahe and the line rearrangements for the Olkiluoto substation). Three projects involved archaeological inventories.

In order to be able to build, operate and maintain a transmission line, Fingrid redeems a right of use to the transmission line area. Redemption permits were obtained for the re-routing of transmission lines from Multisilta and Kangasala to Lavianvuori and for the transmission lines Vanaja–Tikinmaa, Vihtavuori–Koivisto and Koria–Yllikkälä. A redemption permit application was filed for the transmission line project Hikiä–Orimattila. The redemption compensation procedure was completed in seven transmission line projects. Eight hearings in accordance with the Finnish Act on the Redemption of Immoveable Property and Special Rights were held with landowners.

Fingrid’s reserve power plants are subject to an environmental permit and covered by the EU’s emissions trading scheme. The accuracy of the measuring and reporting systems for fuel consumption is verified by an accredited emissions trading verifier. A total of 10,326 (6,697) units (tCO2) of emission allowances were returned, all of which consisted of acquired emission rights units. Fingrid has not been granted free-of-charge emission rights for the emissions trade period 2013–2020. No emissions rights were purchased in 2016. Emissions trading had minor financial significance for Fingrid.