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Optimal design and routing of power lines; ecological, technical and economic perspectives (OPTIPOL). Progress Report 2010


The OPTIPOL project - “Optimal design and routing of power lines; ecological, technical and economic perspectives” – has been active for two years, although the main operational phase was delayed until autumn 2009. The overall OPTIPOL objective is to develop knowledge and tools to improve the decision on environmental friendly power-line routing. To achieve this goal the work is subdivided into 9 focal areas:
• Develop a “least-cost path” GIS-based application for an environmental friendly routing of power lines based on ecological, financial and technological criteria.
• Assess habitat use of power-line Rights-of-Way (ROW) by different wildlife species, con-sider actions of improving power-line ROW as wildlife habitats, and evaluate possible posi-tive and negative effects on wildlife of power-line ROWs. More specific we will examine how power-line ROW may offer suitable feeding grounds for moose and see if the species habitat selection is influenced by power line ROW.
• Assess population impact of bird mortality due to power-line collisions, relative to other human related mortality factors (primarily hunting) in gallinaceous birds (with capercaillie and black grouse as model species).
• Identify ecological high-risk factors for bird collisions, i.e. site-specific factors connected to topographic characteristics, including vegetation structure, season, weather and light con-ditions.
• Establish a national infrastructure for management of dead bird data (including birds re-corded as collision and electrocution victims) by developing an online web application ena-bling the general public to contribute with data on recorded dead birds via Internet.
• Review available literature to assess 1) the possibilities for increased collision hazard to birds by making power-line structures less visible for humans given the present knowledge on bird vision, and 2) technical properties and constraints of camouflaging techniques on conductors and earth wires.
• Review available literature on technical modifying solutions and assess their effective-ness to mitigate bird collisions and electrocution.
• Develop guidelines for technical solutions to mitigate power-line induced mortality to birds.
• Assess eagle owl mortality and population impact caused by power-line collision and elec-trocution, and identify high-hazard collision and electrocution structures.
The work with a “Least Cost Path” (LCP) tool for optimal routing of power lines has started and a pilot version of a ”LCP-GIS-toolbox” is ready and will be further developed in 2011. A main challenge will be to identify thematic areas and parameters and prepare these for a geodata-base. An expert panel will be appointed which will – under three workshops – identify agreed value criteria, and how these should be weighted. The work for making a LCP-GIS toolbox will start in June 2011.
A 6km section of a 300kV transmission line, owned by Statnett, in Bangdalen (Namsos local authority) is selected for field work to collect data on the wildlife use of the clear-felled corridor. The data collection on habitat use is assisted by wildlife cameras. Although a particular focus is directed towards the moose, data on other species like red fox and mountain hare is obtained as well.
Power line, collision, electrocution, bird, eagle owl, ungulate, corridor, ROW, routing, Kraftledning, kollisjon, elektrokusjon, fugl, hubro, hjortevilt, ryddebelte, traséføring
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  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 193818




  • Kjetil Modolv Bevanger
  • Gundula Bartzke
  • Henrik Brøseth
  • Espen Lie Dahl
  • Jan Ove Gjershaug
  • Frank Ole Hanssen
  • Karl-Otto Jacobsen
  • Pål Kvaløy
  • Roelof Frans May
  • Roger Meås
  • Torgeir Nygård
  • Steinar Refsnæs
  • Sigbjørn Stokke
  • Roald Vang


  • Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
  • SINTEF Energy Research / Elkraftteknologi




Norsk institutt for naturforskning





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