Management of powerline routes

Augstsprieguma tīkls AS services all 330 kV and 110 kV power transmission lines in the territory of Latvia, providing their exploitation, service and repair. For the execution of these functions the Protection Zone Law provides for exploitation protection zones – areas along the power networks, the main task of which is to provide the mentioned communication and effective and safe exploitation of objects and development options. Thus the land owners must take into consideration that inspections and planned repair works may periodically take place in their property, upon prior notice to the owner, as well as emergency repair works, which the owner may also not be informed about. Also the land owners must take into consideration that the owner of the power lines or the manager may implement the sawing of dangerous trees, if they threaten the safety of power supply, as well as the cleaning of the powerline routes.

The land owners must take into consideration that within the order as provided in emergency situations or if trees have fallen on an object or have bent over it in a way that they disturb the operation of the object, the trees are felled by the owner of the power networks or by the manager (in the order as provided by the Law on Forests Section 12 part three clauses 1 and 2). The land and/or forest owners must report such trees that have fallen on powerlines or that may possibly disturb their operation to the Dispatcher Service of Augstsprieguma tīkls AS by phone +371 67328386.

The land owners are prohibited to grow trees and bushes in forest lands – in areas that are provided in the methodology of identifying protection zones, outside forest lands – within the entire width of the protection zone. Outside forest lands the land owner or the lawful manager may grow trees in the protection zone or grow trees and bushes, if a written agreement has been signed regarding this with the owner of the power networks.

Forest land is a land that is registered in the State Cadastre Information System of Real Estate as a forest, as well as land of other land use category in the area of 0.5 hectares or more, on which a forest stand has formed. Forest land includes floodplains and glades, the forest infrastructure objects and mires adjacent to it and included in it. Land occupied by an overhead power line is not considered forest.

Tree felling and reforestation requirements that are provided in the Law on Forests do not refer to the forest in protection zones along the power lines. In places where the power line crosses forest territory the owner or the manager of the power networks forms powerline routes and cleans them from trees and bushes. In protection zones of overhead power lines the trees next to powerlines are felled, as well as the branches and crowns that threaten the powerline and may fall on its cables or supports are polled.

+ Dangerous and threatening trees

Threatening trees are considered trees that grow outside the routes of powerlines and are located at a distance from the outer cable of these lines, which is shorter than the tree length, as well as if at least one of the following conditions exist:

  • the trees have permanently moved from the vertical axis towards the overhead powerline by more than 15 degrees;
  • trees have visible signs of decay;
  • the diameter of a deciduous tree in the height of 1.3 metres above the root neck is smaller than 1/100 of the tree height;
  • trees besides overhead powerline route of power networks grow in a forest zone that is not cut, the width of which is less than 30 metres;
  • deciduous trees have asymmetric crown (the majority of the branches grow in the direction towards the cables) or its root system has been mechanically damaged;
  • the distance of the deciduous trees from the tips of the branches till the outer cable of the overhead powerlines of power networks, the voltage of which does not exceed 1 kilovolt, is less than four metres;
  • trees bitten by beaver.

The trees, bushes and branches that are cut are the property of the land owner.

+ Execution of forestry works in protection zones

Before implementing forestry works or felling of separate trees in the protection zones of 330kV and 110 kV overhead power transmission lines, the contractor has to inform the owner and manager of the power networks, providing the cadastre designation of those land units in whose protection zone the trees will be felled, the cadastre number of the land parcel and the contacts of the owner to receive a permit from Augstsprieguma tīkls AS personnel (contact phone +371 67725244). After receiving such information, if necessary the owner or the manager of the power networks organises the disconnection of the relevant powerlines without any charge. 

The duties and rights of the land owner and the owner or possessor of the electrical networks are described in the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations "Methodology for the determination of the protective zones of energy infrastructure objects"