Partial Undergrounding
The Europacable Concept of Partial Undergrounding
Facilitating public acceptance through undergrounding

The Europacable Concept of Partial Undergrounding foresees the undergrounding of power lines in sensitive areas complementing overhead lines where their deployment is restricted by public concerns or environmental limitations.

The concept can be applied at any voltage level. This said, we believe that today the biggest potential to facilitate grid extensions lies with 380 kV or 400 kV extra high voltage (EHV) cross linked polyethylene (XLPE) alternating current (AC) cables. An increasing number of reference projects show that partial undergrounding of EHV transmission lines can help to address concerns of local communes affected by transmission lines. XLPE cables can thus facilitate breaking the deadlock of certain projects. By speeding up the construction times of transmission projects, XLPE cables serve as an enabler to integrate renewable energy sources into Europe’s future energy mix.

The Concept of Partial Undergrounding offers flexibility to the Transmission System Operator (TSO) in the planning and execution of new transmission projects:

  • Alternative, possibly shorter routes;
  • Individual adaptation of the line to meet the requirements of the surroundings;
  • Reduction of cost multiples, as higher expenditure for undergrounding is limited to short sections;
  • Pilot projects allow industry to further deepen its technology expertise, thus securing Europe’s leadership in this sector.

380 kV XLPE cables are a mature technology and fully available so that TSOs can integrate partial undergrounding in their toolbox from the very outset of the planning procedure seeking to realise new projects in the shortest possible timeframe.

Installation of TenneT 380 kV Randstad Ring, The Netherlands
© TENNET

Documents
Joint Europacable / ENTSO-E Paper Feasibility and technical aspects of partial undergrounding of EHV power transmission lines, published in January 2011 following an invitation by the European Commission. The study confirms that EHV XLPE cables are a technology that performs well and can be applied on a case by case basis in projects of vital interest for the development of the EU transmission network.
Joint Europacable / ENTSO-E Paper Feasibility and technical aspects of partial undergrounding of EHV power transmission lines, published in January 2011 following an invitation by the European Commission. The study confirms that EHV XLPE cables are a technology that performs well and can be applied on a case by case basis in projects of vital interest for the development of the EU transmission network.
On 29 January 2013, TenneT and Europacable presented their Joint Position Paper endorsing partial undergrounding of 380 kV extra high voltage power transmission lines as a means to accelerate grid extensions in Germany. This is the English version of the document.
On 29 January 2013, TenneT and Europacable presented their Joint Position Paper endorsing partial undergrounding of 380 kV extra high voltage power transmission lines as a means to accelerate grid extensions in Germany. This is the Germany version of the document.