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’s priorities concerning environmental protection

Environmental aspects

For identified significant environmental aspects, the company defines the internal rules of procedure and supervision, aimed to ensure compliance with all legal requirements and the best possible conservation of natural resources.
Electromagnetic field emissions
We pursue a number of activities which further the achievement of the following objectives:
  • meeting the permitted electromagnetic field levels in the environment outside the line right of way, as required by law,
  • selecting locations for new projects that make it possible to limit the construction of power facilities in residential development areas,
  • maintaining systems and equipment in good working order,
  • advanced technological solutions for equipment and systems.
Noise emissions
We perform tasks that contribute to meeting the permissible noise levels in the environment as required by law. This is achieved through measures relating to:
  • selecting locations that make it possible to limit the construction of power facilities in residential development areas,
  • quality control of the work performed,
  • maintaining systems and equipment in good working order.
Sewage discharge into soil or waters
As a result of our activities, sanitary sewage is generated which is discharged into the combined sewer system, into the ground or into waters. Sewage discharged to the ground or into waters is previously treated in biological sewage treatment plants reducing the content of pollutants in sewage. There are biological sewage treatment plants on the sites of network facilities, using various treatment methods, including active sludge and sprinkling bed.
After treatment, they meet the requirements of law and water management permits. In accordance with the applicable laws and regulations, sewage treatment facilities undergo periodic maintenance and inspections. The quality of the sewage released into the environment is also subject to periodic control.
GRI 306-1
Total sewage volume* by treatment method and destination
Volume (in m3)
in 2018 in 2017**
Sewage treated in the company’s own biological sewage treatment plants Sewage discharged into surface waters, including lakes, rivers, etc. 886,00 5 414,57
Discharged into soil 1 084,33 2 696,00
Carried off to municipal plants 31 109,35 22 992,57
Total sewage volume 33 079,68 31 103,14
*The indicator refers to sanitary sewage discharged from substation facilities and the offices of PSE headquarters and its field units (previously branches). Not applicable to precipitation water.
**In 2017 and 2018, the quantity of sewage carried off to municipal utilities included also liquid waste collected from cesspools. Sewage parameters are monitored by the recipient.
The volume of sewage is determined on the basis of the quantity of water consumed. There are biological sewage treatment plants on the sites of network facilities, using various treatment methods, including active sludge and sprinkling bed.
Waste generation
For many years, we have performed selective collection of waste generated by the activities carried out at the site of grid assets and on the premises of PSE and its field units. In order to standardise the rules of handing waste, the “Instructions for waste management at PSE S.A.” have been prepared which apply both to waste generated by PSE and by third parties in the course of operation, maintenance, failure recovery, and new build and repair projects. One of the appendices to the Instructions is dedicated in whole to the rules of correct sorting of municipal waste generated by human living activities.
The office buildings and all electrical substations have been equipped with containers for selective collection of waste (including paper, plastics, glass, metals, spent life sources, batteries and oil-contaminated absorbent). Most waste is collected at the place of generation. The rooms, areas and containers in which the different waste types are collected are duly marked.
Correct sorting is also checked during inspections carried out on the sites of facilities. Presentation of the rules and obligations concerning waste sorting is one of the permanent training topics for the company’s newly hired employees.
Typical hazardous waste generated at our substations include e.g. spent mineral oils, batteries and absorbents. The greatest amount of waste is produced during work related to the implementation of upgrade investment projects, in particular the upgrading and construction of power facilities. The producers of that waste are contractors and they are responsible for the management of the waste, and in the case of waste with a value the waste producer is PSE.
To ensure that contractors’ waste management activities comply with the applicable regulations, permanent supervision is maintained on the site of operating facilities and during the execution of investment projects.
GRI 306-2 *
Total weight of waste by type and disposal method
Value as at 2018 [in Mg] Value as at 2017 [in Mg]
Hazardous waste, including: 331,93 141,37
- stored on the premises 15,50 12,84
- handed over to authorised entities 316,43 128,53
Non-hazardous waste, including: 86,43 66,05
- stored on the premises 0,36 0,40
- handed over to authorised entities 86,07 65,65
*The indicator refers to substation facilities and PSE's head office and its field units (ZKOs).
Hazardous substance spill
We take measures to:
  • curtail the risk of emergency situation through preventive measures and the correct maintenance of facilities,
  • maintain readiness to mitigate the environmental impact of failures caused by infrastructure owned by the company.
GRI 306-3
Total number and volume of significant spills*
Unit of measure Value in 2018 Number of spills Value in 2017 Number of spills
Oil spills Mg of contaminated soil 99,2 3 101,51 7
SF6 gas spills kg 69,25 15 91,3 30
Coolant spills kg 80,4 10 97,95 13
*"Significant spill" – with reference to our activities, means a spill resulting in environmental pollution
The number of SF6 gas spills in 2018 decreased by 50 percent compared with the previous year. In the case of insulating oil coolant spills, a decrease was also reported compared with 2017.
Devices containing a large quantity of insulating oil – transformers – are equipped with appropriate protection features, oil trays, which must contain emergency oil dump in the event of an uncontrolled spill. In 2018, one significant spill of insulating oil having a negative environmental impact was recorded. The company is currently carrying on work to restore equipment to the pre-failure condition. In the event that it was not possible to capture oil due to the type of failure, the contaminated soil was stripped and handed over for disposal.
The activities of maintenance services were consistent with the procedures in force at the company and relevant to the situation.
GRI 306-3
Total number and volume of significant spills* in 2018**
ZKO name Substation Number Calculation of SF6 from electrical power equipment
Quantity [in kg] CO2 equivalent [in t]
ZKO Warszawa Mościska Substation   0,2 4,56
Piaseczno Substation   17,7 403,56
Narew Substation   15,8 360,24
Total 3 33,7 768,36
Radom ZKO Mokre Substation   0,85 19,38
Krosno Iskrzynia Substation   4,3 98,04
Total 2 15,5 117,42
Katowice ZKO Poręba Substation Substation   1,3 29,64
Siersza Substation   0,9 20,52
Wanda Substation   3,7 84,36
Wielopole Substation   11,2 255,36
Rokitnica Substation   4,6 104,88
Total 5 21,7 494,76
Poznań ZKO Gorzów   0,3 6,84
Czerwonak Substation   0,5 11,4
Total 2 0,8 18,24
Bydgoszcz ZKO Gdańsk Błonia Substation   2,4 54,72
Morzyczyn Substation   3,45 78,66
Dunowo Substation   2,05 46,74
Total 3 7,9 180,12
Total spills:   15 69,25 1578,9
*"Significant spill" – with reference to our activities, it is a spill resulting in environmental pollution
**Summary based on the company’s internal records and environmental reports.
GRI 306-3 Number and volume of spills in 2018
Coolant spill Calculation of hydrofluorocarbons
ZKO name Electrical substation Substance name Number Quantity [in kg] CO2 equivalent [in t] GWP according to Regulation (EU) 517/2014
Pozań ZKO Ząbkowice Substation R 410 A   6,8 14,2 1774
Adamów Substation R 410 A   0,85 1,77 1774
Plewiska Substation R 407 C   36 63,86 2088
Total   3 43,65 79,84  
Radom ZKO Stalowa Wola Substation R 407 C   8 14,19 2088
Radom site R 410 A   8,5 17,75 2729
Total   2 16,5 31,94  
Katowice ZKO Lubocza Substation R 410 A   5,15 10,75 1774
Byczyna Substation R 407 C   0,1 0,18 2088
Joachimów Substation R 422 D   7 19,1 2088
Total   3 12,25 30,03  
Warszawa ZKO Mory Substation R 410 A   3 6,26 2088
Konstancin-Jeziorna site R 134 A   5 7,15 1774
Total   2 8 13,41  
Bydgoszcz ZKO no spills   0 0 0 -
TOTAL     10 80,4 155,22  
GRI 306-3 Number of spills and weight of oil-contaminated soil in 2018
Information on significant spills (type and location) Oil calculations
Number Oils* - quantity of replaced earth in m3 Mass [in Mg] / Volume (in m3)
Insulating oil spills
1 Żydowo Substation
Explosion and fire of current transformer J220-4 in bay No 2 (DUN).
1 52,22 Mg/ 104,44 m3
2 Płock Substation
Leakage from pump No 4 in cooling circuit Tr2, oil spill from conservator tank.
1 46,96 Mg/ 93,92 m3
3 Żukowice Substation
Oil spill from current transformer type J220-4a, 220 kV side.
1 0,015 Mg/ 0,03 m3
Total 3 99,195 Mg/ 198,39 m3
*Conversion ratio of 1 tonne of earth equals 2 m3 has been adopted.
Readiness and responding in environmental emergency situations (e.g. hydrocarbon spillage)
On substation sites, PSE operates equipment containing substances that may cause pollution when released into the environment.
Such substances include mainly:
  • insulating oil (transformers, oil circuit breakers, instrument transformers, shunt reactors, circuit breakers, capacitors),
  • diesel oil (power generating sets),
  • acids (battery electrolytes).
Due to the risk of equipment failure and related risk of spill of the above-mentioned substances, we endeavour to reduce their negative environmental impact as much as possible.
For this purpose, the following have been prepared: “Operational instructions for handling failures at an electrical substation of PSE S.A. posing the risk of environmental pollution with insulation oil” and “Operational instructions for handling hazardous substance spillage”, which also apply on the premises of Field Subunits (ZKOs).
Each facility is equipped with “environmental first aid kits” – portable sets of absorbents for the collection of small spills to prevent spillage from spreading.
We strive to minimise water consumption
We do not carry on any production activity and therefore water consumption at our headquarters and at the substations is small. Nevertheless, we monitor water consumption under the Environmental Management System. Water is supplied to our substation facilities from our own deep wells and from commune or municipal water mains.
Wells are a source of supply to our 13 extra-high voltage substations. At the substation facilities, water is used for personal purposes of the substation personnel and for firefighting purposes. Each substation is equipped with a fire water reservoir (or reservoirs) with a capacity of 50 m3.
At the substations with transformer units equipped with fire extinguishing systems, a small quantity of reservoir water is consumed for sprinkler system tests which are performed once a year. The measurement of consumer water quantity is based on the main water meter readings.
At our headquarters in Konstancin-Jeziorna, we use our own water intake. We have two deep wells. Water supplied to the offices of field units comes from municipal mains.
The data presented in the table below have been collated from water meter readings at the sites with their own water intakes, and from water supply invoices for the facilities using water mains.
GRI 303-1
Total water withdrawal by source*
Quantity [m3]
2018 2017
Total water volume (in m3) drawn from the following sources: 38 395,63 39 515,77
- Groundwater (own intakes) 17 368,65 17 312,60
- Municipal water supplies or other water utilities (m3) 21 026,98 22 203,17
*The quantity of water withdrawn is real, recorded on the basis of meter readings
Impact indicators – environmental expenditure
Effects of measures taken Duration 2018 2017 2016
Started in... Ended in... Frequency Cost (PLN) Comment Cost (PLN) Comment Cost (PLN) Comment
Confirmation of quality parameters of precipitation water and sewage, and working order of equipment     Twice a year 45 166 Precipitation water quality survey 34 990 Precipitation water quality survey    
Implementation of requirements arising from laws and regulations     Once a year/once a quarter 14 343 Amount of the environmental fee and water service fee in accordance with the 2018 fee notices 31 982 Amount of the environmental fee for 2017 33 909 Amount of the environmental fee for 2016
Implementation of requirements arising from the environmental decision 2015 2017 yes     17 627 Cost of cultivation of plantings 17 627 Cost of cultivation of plantings
Elimination of the risk of defect caused by dead tree fall 2017 2018 no     32 447 Cost of planting    
TOTAL       59 509   117 046   51 536