Väike Strait overhead lines to be removed by October

The overhead lines on the dam of Väike väin
The overhead lines on the dam of Väike väin Source: ERR

As Elering promised earlier this year, the company will remove half of the power lines from the overhead line on the dam of the Väike Strait (Väike väin) by October. There is already a will to remove all the overhead lines on the dam in the next five years.

"Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported on Wednesday the Väike Strait - between the islands of Muhu and Saaremaa - is as busy for birds as it is for cars. Approximately 3,000 to 4,000 birds fly in the area every day. 

For nine months, ornithologists will carry out both visual and radar observations to find out how big the obstacle of the overhead power line is. In addition to that, the ornithologists will find out how many birds die in this area. The lines have been installed since 1963. 

Veljo Volke, Bird Protection Program Manager of the Estonian Ornithological Society, said: "I don't want to say it before the survey, but this number is definitely not in the tens but in the hundreds. And I will not specify more."

A number of swans have been seen to fly over the lines, but the initial observations confirm something else. 

Volke said: "In reality, swans do not make up the majority of dying birds but the majority are made up of different species of ducks." 

The first submarine cable laid in the Väike Stait cost more than €5 million last year. The three lower wires on the overhead lines can be removed by October thanks to the underwater cable. In addition to removing the wires, warning reflectors will be installed on the remaining wires.

However, if the overhead line is completely disconnected, another cable must be installed at the bottom of the strait. 

Taavi Veskimägi, the CEO of Elering, said: "If we take half of the wires off, we need to install markers on there – this will be done by October. We are still waiting for the work and results from the ornithologists as we want to release the dam from the overhead lines." 

Ornithologists are in an agreement with other specialists that the lines need to be removed even before carrying out the observation. 

Volke thinks this area of overhead lines is the most dangerous segment for birds in Estonia. He said: "There should be no lines in such areas. Elering has a very reasonable plan that they have decided that the power line should be dismantled in five years." 


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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