In cold, dry winters, the power supply into parts of Hordaland County and Bergen has been very vulnerable.
“The newly-installed power line is very important. Before the Sima-Samnanger power line was commissioned, two old and weak power lines connected the Bergen area and northern part of Hordaland County to the rest of the Norwegian power system. The new power line has ensured that we now have a much more reliable power supply to the area,” says Project Manager Steinar Lindseth Bygdås. “Furthermore, the transmission route has been improved for existing and new climate-friendly power to consumers in wet periods,” he adds.
The Sima-Samnanger has been an exciting building project to be in charge of. Technically, we ran power lines from fjord level to a height of more than 1000 metres in a climate that causes severe mechanical strain due to snow, ice and wind.
From the fjord and up the mountain
Sima-Samnanger comprises approximately 93 kilometres of new 420 kV power lines. Statnett submitted a planning proposal for the project in 2005 and applied for a licence in 2006. In 2008, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) made the decision to grant a licence. This was appealed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) who considered the appeal and decided to uphold the licence decision in 2010. The project was completed before Christmas, according to schedule and within the established budget limits. Statnett cooperated with a Croatian contractor and Norwegian subcontractors.
“The Sima-Samnanger has been an exciting building project to be in charge of. Technically, we ran power lines from fjord level to a height of more than 1000 metres in a climate that causes severe mechanical strain due to snow, ice and wind,” Bygdås says.
The project has received a lot of attention. There has been a high conflict level associated with the chosen solution.
“It is not common for people to discuss operative power lines in the public sphere. We cannot expect people who were strongly opposed to the Sima-Samnanger solution to suddenly change their minds, although many players must have reflected on it during the process and after. We certainly have. The main thing for us, is to use the experience that we have gained, so that we carry on doing what we did well and change what did not function that well,” Bygdås says.
Text: Lise Tønsberg Vangerud Photo: Statnett