Stretching 60 kilometres from Beverwijk to Bleiswijk, the new electricity connection is TenneT’s largest land-based project in the Netherlands and has been built in Europe’s most densely populated region. At the same time, the region’s existing 150 kV connections have been adapted and two new high voltage substations have been built in Beverwijk and Vijfhuizen.
At 151 locations between Beverwijk and Bleiswijk, new Wintrack pylons have been erected. Their slender design and light grey colour scheme have shown to be ideally suited to the heavily populated Randstad region. Ten kilometres of the 60-kilometre-long 380 kV high-voltage interconnection that forms part of the meshed grid have been laid underground, which is a global first. The new aluminium cables that have been used are cheaper than traditional materials and they conduct electricity more efficiently, which means their carbon footprint is smaller.
Of the 151 Wintrack pylons, 24 are ‘only’ 43 metres tall and are located near Schiphol. An 80-metre-tall Wintrack pylon guarantees shipping a safe passage along the Ringvaart Canal at Rijpwetering. On average, each Wintrack pylon, the heaviest of which weighs in at 70 tonnes, stands on 25 piles that have each been driven 20-30 metres into the ground. The depth of the underground cables ranges from 34 metres in the North Sea Canal to 1.80 metres in a trench. The Randstad North Ring crosses six motorways, seven waterways and three railways.
More than 1000 people from the region, 300 landowners, over 25 competent authorities, 13 building contractors and 200 TenneT employees were involved in the construction.
During the morning of 10 October, the finishing touches were put to the work at Kaag en Braassem. Here, TenneT and the local residents of the Ghoybos had jointly come up with a sustainable initiative: the landscaping of the fencing around the transition compound in the heart of the Ghoybos, aimed at improving the visual impact of the high voltage connection in the area; Botersloot architectural design bureau had developed two alternative schemes for TenneT, after which the residents and businesses voted virtually unanimously for the ‘floral’ option. TenneT CEO Manon van Beek: ‘This project shows just how important TenneT's role in the community is. We have both the responsibility and the ambition to play a key role in the energy transition, in which sustainability, security of supply and affordability are paramount.’