SPIE Nederland takes over the underground laying of high-voltage lines in urban and suburban areas
Breda, 23 May 2023 – In 2019, a new electricity law passed in the Netherlands allowed for the underground cabling of overhead high-voltage power lines. Breda is set to benefit from this development. SPIE Nederland, the Dutch subsidiary of SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has been selected by TenneT and the city council to take charge of burying the high-voltage lines currently present in the outskirts and urban areas. This initiative aims to increase the reliability of the network while improving the living environment of the city.
The coordination and execution of the project will take about a year and a half. Thanks to her experience gained at SPIE over the past two years, Nica Rijken, Project Manager at SPIE Nederland, is the perfect fit for this contract: "For me, the highlights of this project are the portals between underground and overhead line we are realising, and the table-shaped construction we came up with for a specific mast”. SPIE Nederland will set up two gantry structures and connects the power lines to them. Instead of a third one, a so-called table structure will be built around a single mast. The concept remains the same, except that the existing mast is preserved.
The first drilling will take place at the high voltage substation in Breda. A second borehole will be drilled in the middle of the road between the substation and the city. At this point, a shaft will be dug that will eventually allow for further drilling to the right and left, thus ensuring the completion of the underground infrastructure. Once this stage is completed, the cables will be pulled underground using a tubular sheath.
"Because we remove superfluous pylons, those set to remain must be weighted down, otherwise the balance will be lost and they will fall over. Incidentally, our work does not affect the grid: we turn off the power in only one direction, so that the other side may continue to provide electricity” explains Nica. “In terms of planning, this challenging task requires even more focus on safety."
Sustainability in mind
As far as possible, SPIE strives to work in the most sustainable manner possible in its projects. This was also the case in Breda: instead of a diesel generator on the work site, Enexis installs a temporary electricity connection. And because work takes place in a built-up area, six SPIE bicycles are available for colleagues who do not have to carry heavy materials from one mast to another.
Civil works have now started. From September, SPIE will build the first portal.
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