The Federal Administrative Court has today confirmed that the planning approval granted by the Federal Office of Energy for construction of the ultra-high voltage line between Chamoson and Chippis meets the criteria governing protection of the population and environment. It also rejected the application for permission to lay the line partially or entirely underground.
Alpiq welcomes the Court's decision and will now analyse the ruling in detail. Construction of the 380-kV line by 2015 is a top priority for the company. As underscored by experts commissioned by the government of canton Valais, construction of the line between Chamoson and Chippis is essential and urgently needed for transmission of the electricity generated in canton Valais, as it is the only way to ensure the reliable supply of electricity at an affordable price for consumers. Reinforcement of the ultra-high voltage grid is also one of the priorities set by the Federal Council's new energy strategy.
The planning and construction of ultra-high voltage lines are subject to a procedure defined by the Swiss government and for which the Federal Office of Energy is responsible. Alpiq has no decision-making powers and is participating in the procedure as a representative of the plant contractors. Note: Under the terms of the Electricity Supply Act (StromVG), ownership of the entire Swiss ultra-high voltage grid must be transferred to swissgrid by 1 January 2013.