Elia, the Belgian power grid operator, rolled out stage two of the East Loop project this Friday 29 September in the presence of Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry. The second stage of the project is now coming to fruition with the completion of the line work. The East Loop is essential in order to accommodate new generation capacity in this region where there are significant prospects for the development of renewable energies. It will improve security of supply and make our grid even more reliable. Stage two involved an upgrade to 2x110 kV for two sections between Bévercé and Trois-Ponts over a distance of 25 km.
Original Press Release:
Stavelot, Sept. 29 -- Elia Group issued the following news release:
Elia, the Belgian power grid operator, rolled out stage two of the East Loop project this Friday 29 September in the presence of Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry. The second stage of the project is now coming to fruition with the completion of the line work. The East Loop is essential in order to accommodate new generation capacity in this region where there are significant prospects for the development of renewable energies. It will improve security of supply and make our grid even more reliable. Stage two involved an upgrade to 2x110 kV for two sections between Bévercé and Trois-Ponts over a distance of 25 km. The next stages of the project are currently under study.
More green energy generation in the eastern part of Liège Province
This geographical area has very significant potential for generating electricity from wind power. The power grid there had reached saturation and could no longer accommodate additional generation, meaning that many projects could not be implemented. By upgrading from 1x70 kV to 2x110 kV, the project will make it possible to integrate seven times more permanent and flexible wind power in the future by increasing the initial production capacity of 65 MW to 480 MW once all the reserved potential is deployed. Additional stages in the project will make all this capacity permanent.
Improving grid reliability and security of supply
Public safety, infrastructure security and grid reliability are absolute priorities for Elia. We want to provide the general public with ever safer infrastructure. Inspections into the level of wear on our facilities showed that the grid infrastructure in this area was reaching the end of its life, which is why Elia decided to replace the existing connection with new-generation infrastructure to ensure greater security of supply and better grid reliability while significantly increasing power capacity.
A project in tune with the local ecosystem
Since developing the infrastructure needed for a successful energy transition can be challenging in terms of environmental impact, Elia takes care to identify and measure it in order to implement concrete actions aimed at avoiding, reducing or compensating for it. As part of the implementation of stage 2 of the East Loop, working methods were modified to maximise respect for local flora and fauna. For example, during the construction phase the teams modified their schedule to take account of nesting periods and avoid disrupting the migration of amphibians and even the bellowing of stags. More than 2,600 bird flight diverters were also placed along 14 km of the line. In addition, eco-corridors were created below or alongside the lines (creation of edges, heaths, peat bogs and ponds). In parallel with these activities, Elia established a partnership with Be Planet and Ecofirst to carry out sustainable projects in the municipalities impacted by the project (Malmedy, Spa, Stavelot, Stoumont, Trois-Ponts).
Leveraging technology for the Belgian grid
Elia has focused on research and development in this project. High-performance concrete pylons were deployed for the first time on a large scale on the Elia grid as part of stage 2 of the East Loop, offering an alternative to steel lattice pylons where technically possible. Special access trails promoting biodiversity have been developed and special efforts have been made to avoid polluting water catchment areas.
"It's an honour for me to inaugurate another missing link in the electricity transmission chain. While my priority remains saving energy, we collectively need to increase the overall level of electrification of our entire economy. We also need to guarantee solidarity between European countries in terms of sharing the electricity generated, thereby ensuring greater flexibility and making it easier to establish new renewable generating facilities."
Philippe Henry, Vice-President and Minister of Climate, Energy, Mobility and Infrastructure in the Walloon Government
“This project now being implemented is very important for the eastern part of Liège Province. The accelerating energy transition is taking form through increasingly concrete projects across the country, including in the North Sea and in Stavelot. The East Loop will enable the integration of much more renewable energy in this high-potential area. It will also ensure greater security of supply and make the grid in the region even more reliable.”
Frédéric Dunon, Deputy CEO of Elia
About Elia Group
One of Europe's top 5 TSOs
Elia Group is a key player in electricity transmission. We ensure that production and consumption are balanced around the clock, supplying 30 million end users with electricity. Through our subsidiaries in Belgium (Elia) and the north and east of Germany (50Hertz), we operate 19,349 km of high-voltage connections, meaning that we are one of Europe’s top 5 transmission system operators. With a reliability level of 99.99%, we provide society with a robust power grid, which is important for socio-economic prosperity. We also aspire to be a catalyst for a successful energy transition, helping to establish a reliable, sustainable and affordable energy system.
We are making the energy transition happen
By expanding international high-voltage connections and incorporating ever-increasing amounts of renewable energy into our grid, we are promoting both the integration of the European energy market and the decarbonisation of society. We also continuously optimise our operational systems and develop new market products so that new technologies and market parties can access our grid, thus further facilitating the energy transition.
In the interest of society
As a key player in the energy system, Elia Group is committed to working in the interest of society. We are responding to the rapid rise in renewable energy by constantly adapting our transmission grid. We also ensure that investments are made on time and within budget, with a maximum focus on safety. In carrying out our projects, we manage stakeholders proactively by establishing two-way communication channels between all relevant parties very early on in the development process. We also offer our expertise to different players across the sector in order to build the energy system of the future.
In addition to its activities as a transmission system operator, Elia Group provides various consulting services to international customers through its subsidiary Elia Grid International. In recent years, the Group has launched new non-regulated activities such as re.alto - the first European marketplace for the exchange of energy data via standardised energy APIs - and WindGrid, a subsidiary which will continue to expand the Group’s overseas activities, contributing to the development of offshore electricity grids in Europe and beyond.
The legal entity Elia Group is a listed company whose core shareholder is the municipal holding company Publi-T.
Source: Elia Group
[Category: Energy Equipment & Services, Energy, Business Expansion]