Environmental impact
The national environmental standards positively set Poland apart from other EU countries.

PSE endeavours to reconcile the reliable and efficient operation of the power system with its development whilst respecting the natural environment.

Our every power project meets stringent requirements for the impact of extra-high voltage lines on the environment.

Polish safety standards for electric and magnetic field impact for residential areas are among the most restrictive in the world.
PSE makes continuous efforts to maintain biodiversity in areas where transmission system development projects are implemented. They are conducted in such a way as to minimise interference with the environment.
By implementing in 2012 the Environmental Management System compliant with the ISO 14001 standard, we have committed to comply with legal regulations and to follow good environmental practices. We have also imposed this commitment on the contractors and subcontractors for our investment projects. We jointly endeavour to ensure that each stage of the project implementation process is characterised by care for the environment: from planning, to its operation, taking into account the whole range of aspects, such as remedial measures related to protection against soil and groundwater pollution, limiting losses in habitats and species, and emergency management, minimising noise emissions and proper waste management. In implementing our projects, we strive to ensure that our power infrastructure has the least possible impact on biodiversity.
We deliver investment projects in a manner that allows key threats to nature to be minimised and the risk of biodiversity loss to be avoided. We start as early as the line route and substation location planning stage, so as to avoid, as far as possible, interference with areas of high natural value. In successive stages of project implementation, we analyse technical and technological options for minimising impacts related to the implementation and subsequent operation of network facilities.
In the case of completed projects, we focus on the so-called post-implementation monitoring. Naturalists are responsible for assessing whether the measures we take correctly serve their purpose, and thus whether we have managed to minimise impact on the natural environment. In the next few years, we will be able to assess, for example, which of the diverters used on ground wires designed to warn birds against collision prove the best, and reduce the number of birds’ collisions with the EHV lines to the highest extent.
Unavoidable consequences of project implementation include a loss of a part of habitats due to tree clearance in the line right of way, especially in forest areas. Fortunately, these situations are increasingly rare owing to the increasing use of over-forest or forest pylons which allow tree clearance to be significantly reduced. A “forest” pylon is a pylon which together with V-shaped insulator strings allows wires to be suspended closer to the pylon structure (reduction of the line width). An “over-forest” pylon allows wires to be suspended above trees crowns.
Both at the project implementation and operation stage, we endeavour to carry out tree clearance work in the line right of way in such a manner as to limit its impact. The work is often performed outside the breeding season and under naturalists' supervision. Owing to new EHV line projects some habitats are lost but new ones appear in their place which are readily used for nesting by other bird or insect species. Due to the removal of undergrowth under the line, there are more plants typical of open areas and the insect food base increases.
As we try to run lines so as to minimise interference with areas inhabited by valuable and rare species, and clearance is limited to a necessary minimum, the need for nature compensation arises extremely rarely. Damage to stations of widely occurring species, which does not have a significant impact on population survival, does not require nature compensation (according to Article 75 of the Environmental Law) related to its regeneration.
Examples of the nature compensation measures taken by PSE in connection with the destruction of habitats as a result of the construction and maintenance of network infrastructure and the status of their preservation in the years after the facilities were put into operation.
Construction of the 400kV switchgear at the Byczyna Substation
In connection with the construction of the 400kV at the Byczyna Substation, partial elimination affected a fragment of the habitat – Molinia meadows which are the habitat of the Siberian iris Iris sibirica, Turkish marsh gladiolus Gladiolus imbricatus, western marsh orchid Dactylorhiza majalis and the large blue butterfly Teleius P. teleius.
For the purposes of the project, pursuant to a decision issued by the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Katowice, protected plant species, i.e. 643 specimens of the Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), 32 tussocks of the Turkish marsh gladiolus Gladiolus imbricatus and 1 specimen of the western marsh orchid Dactylorhiza majalis were transferred from the substation area to the appropriate substitute site (plot outside the construction site) with the aim to maintain the local population in the proper status of preservation. The permission to transfer the specimens of protected species was conditional upon mowing the meadows where the plants were moved in the first and second year after the transfer and at least every other year in subsequent years until 2024.
Starting in 2016, 2.7 hectares of meadows have been mowed and the habitats where the protected species were transferred as well as the habitat of the large blue butterfly have been monitored. The monitoring is based on the indicators presented in the methodology manuals provided by the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection.
During field inspections carried out in 2016, it was confirmed that Turkish marsh gladiolus that had been moved to a substitute site, set abundant seeds. Thus it can be supposed that the population of this species will increase significantly in the near future. Furthermore, abundant flowering of great burnet, a host plant for large blue butterflies has been observed. The inspections of habitats carried out in 2017 confirmed the presence of the fruiting specimens of Turkish marsh gladiolus and Siberian iris. The presence of both butterfly species was confirmed on all meadow patches covered by monitoring.
Entomological checks have confirmed that the area around the station is a valuable habitat of Phengaris telejus and Phengaris nausithous. The grassland areas the condition of which deteriorated during construction have been regenerating properly as regards the plant species composition. This ensures the proper condition of habitats for both Phengaris species
Expansion of the Kozienice Substation
For the purposes of the investment project related to the expansion of the Kozienice Substation, 2,490 trees and 150 m2 of shrubs were removed in 2014 from the total area of 2.8 hectares.
In accordance with the decision issued by the mayor of Kozienice municipality, PSE was obliged to carry out nature compensation by planting at least as many trees and shrubs as the removed ones.
As part of compensation work agreed with the commune, 2,855 seedlings of different tree and shrub species were planted. The following species were planted: English hawthorn, Scots pine, silver birch, Serbian spruce, black pine, Weymouth pine, maple, small-leaved lime, American ambrose, American tulip tree, ginkgo biloba, plane tree, European ash, European beech, common hornbeam, Rocky Mountain juniper, northern white-cedar, barberry, holly and viburnum. The species planted were recommended by the owners of land specified by the municipality and agreed with representatives of the Kozienice Municipality. The plants were taken care of for three years. In the first year, 165 trees and shrubs destroyed as a result of vandalism, were excluded from husbandry. During the three-year husbandry period, dead trees and plants were replaced, which had growth problems due to difficult habitat conditions. In 2016, 346 plantings were replaced, in 2017 – 329 plantings, and in 2018 – 63 plantings. At the contractor’s request, certain species of trees and shrubs were also replaced, as they failed to become established due to an incorrect choice of plant species for the soil type (mainly sandy, nutrient-deficient soils). The three-year period of planting husbandry ended in December 2018.
Cooperation in the protection of the smooth snake
The smooth snake sites have been discovered in areas situated in the vicinity of the Kozienice Substation and the Kozienice Power Plant. Two years’ observations showed that smooth snakes occurring in the area form a reproductive population existing here for many years. In order to preserve the local population of this snake species, the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Warsaw initiated discussions with the firms using the area. As a result of many meetings and site visits, a model has been developed of mutual exchange of information on work conducted in the area and on emergency procedures. Owing to such measures, protection of the smooth snake will be much more effective and easier to perform.
In September 2018, PSE signed a four-party agreement on the protection of the smooth snake – a rare, protected species of snake in the family Colubridae. The parties to the agreement are: The Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Warsaw, Enea Wytwarzanie, Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne, and Kozienice Forest Inspectorate.
The agreement is a very good example of how human activity contributes to the protection of the natural environment. Owing to minor modifications of the way work is performed related to business activities in the area where the species occurs, it will be possible to preserve relevant habitats and protect the smooth snake population.
The smooth snake Coronella austriaca is a species under strict protection, entered in the Polish Red Book of Animals under category VU (Vulnerable species, subject to conservation in Natura 2000 areas). The smooth snake is a non-venomous snakes of up to 60-75 cm in length.
Protection of the osprey
In 2014, together with the Information Centre of Lasy Państwowe National Forest Holding, PSE carried out an initiative to enable an osprey pair to set up a nest. Thanks to a purpose-built platform on a power pylon and a camera installed, they enabled video transmission and online observation of one of the rarest species of birds of prey. The platform was mounted on one of the pylons of the transmission line crossing the forests of the Lipka forest district in Kujawsko-Pomorskie voivodeship.
Owing to this initiative, awareness of the role of ospreys in nature is continuously improved, which has contributed to enhanced conservation of those birds of prey.
The experience of German and Italian transmission system operators confirms the effectiveness of this form of protection. In Germany, 90% of ospreys nest on power pylons, which has contributed to the stability of their population in the whole region.
In view of the successfully completed initiative, in 2018 PSE signed an agreement with the General Directorate of the Lasy Państwowe National Forest Holding on the installation of additional platforms for osprey brooding nests. Under a project conducted by PSE, involving active participation in nature protection five platforms have been installed so far in the Zachodniopomorskie, Wielkopolskie and Lubuskie voivodeships, i.e. in the areas where the osprey occurs in Poland.
GRI EU13 Biodiversity of nature compensation compared tothe biodiversity of affected areas
No. Biodiversity of compensatory habitats in terms of: Period of monitoring and reporting biodiversity in removed locations
Habitat area (km2) Main protected species Habitat description (e.g. wetlands, grasslands, forests etc.)
1 0,027 Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), Turkish marsh gladiolus (Gladiolus imbricatus), western marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis), large blue butterflies of the Phengaris genus: dusky large blue (Phengaris nausithous) and scarce large blue (Phengaris teleius). grasslands 2024
2 no data No protected species. The plantings were made with the following species: English hawthorn, Scots pine, silver birch, Serbian spruce, black pine, Weymouth pine, maple, small-leaved lime, American ambrose, American tulip tree, ginkgo biloba, plane tree, European ash, European beech, common hornbeam, Rocky Mountain juniper, northern white-cedar, barberry, holly and common ninebark leisure areas, parks 2018
3 no data Maule's quince electrical substation area (industrial area)  
4 0,59 No protected species. Plantings were made with the following species: Scots pine, silver birch, Norway spruce, black alder, English oak, larch, lime and hornbeam agricultural and forest lands 2019
Planting of nectar sources
At the PSE headquarters in Konstancin-Jeziorna, the majority of planted plants (excluding the lawn area) are nectar sources: barberries, hostas, roses, spirea, cinquefoils, cotoneasters, yews, dogwoods, bladders, ivies and vines, maples, limes, black locusts, and many others. In addition, in implementing one of the objectives of the environmental management system, defined as biodiversity protection, measures were taken in 2019 with a view to improving the livelihood of bees. A meadow mix was sown on two islands situated in the parking yard around the office building (approx. 50 m2). A specialist mix of ample and long-blooming nectar source plants was used for planting. The mix included: garden dill, coriander, common sage, wild thyme, amaranth, yellow chamomile, marigold, ox-eye daisy, tricolour convolvulus, Chinese forget-me-not, forking larkspur, gypsophila, dame’s violet, large-leaved flax, annual honesty, mallow-wort, evening stock, marvel of Peru, love-in-a-mist, field poppy, cowherb, common flax, narrow-leaved lupin, common buckwheat, common sainfoin, blue tansy.
Plants started rising in July and in August most of the area sown was filled with blooming plants (photo below). The quality and durability of the sown material can be assessed in the next vegetation season. The contractor responsible for maintaining biologically active areas was instructed to reduce any herbicide and insecticide use to a minimum. Naturally seeded weeds (clovers, wood sorrels, etc.) on lawns were not removed until they had faded.
The meadow mix mentioned above is planned to be sown next year on approx. 300 m2 around the water intake on the premises of the PSE headquarters.