Underground cabling in forest plot brought electricity to cottage
In spring 2021, Marja Keväjärvi received a call from Oulun Energia Sähköverkko Oy. At the other end of the line was a landscape planner for the electricity network company, who told Keväjärvi that an underground cable was planned to be laid through her forest plot in Kiiminki.
“It took a while to process it,” describes Marja Keväjärvi her first thoughts after being contacted by landscape planner, Mikko Pitkäkoski. However, it was possible to clarify the issues that concerned Marja:
“We went hiking on-site together at my request. Mikko listened to my concerns and patiently answered my questions about underground cabling,” Marja continues.
Electricity network companies are laying underground power lines in order to improve the security of electricity supply. Unlike overhead lines, underground electrical cables are not susceptible to damage from the weather, for example, and the hazards caused by things like storm damage are also reduced thanks to underground cabling. It is the task of the landscape planners, together with the landowners, to plan the best possible route for the cable, taking account of the terrain. “Each construction site has its own challenges, wheter there are water pipes, ditches, or even bedrock where the underground cable is supposed to go, but there is always a solution,” says Mikko Pitkäkoski.
Electricity to the cottage island in the process
In connection with the underground cabling process, it emerged that it would also be possible to get electricity to the Kiiminkijoki island cottage that used to belong to Marja’s father and recently passed into her care. Since the Keväjärvi family often spends time at the cottage, and electrification would also allow for winter use, Marja decided that the island would be connected to the electricity network. “I'm sure the children will like it better when the cottage has electricity,” she says, laughing.
According to Mikko Pitkäkoski, extending the electrical network to an island is not an everyday task: “I have been in this job since 2013, and the only cases I can think of where the electricity network has been extended to an island are this and one other instance.” Marja's knowledge of the surrounding environment became useful when an electrical pole was planned for the island. She knew up to where the spring floods would raise the water on the island and at what time the water would be at its lowest, so that the excavator would be as easy as possible to drive to the island for the excavation work required for electrification. Thus, a ramp was excavated on both sides of the river to allow the excavator to drive onto it and then go to the island.
“I think this groove looks nice and fits into this landscape,” says Keväjärvi, praising the solution that they came up with together.
Landscape planning demands both expertise and detective work
When an electricity network is being renovated, it is the responsibility of the landscape planners to contact the landowners on whose land the cable or other network renovation work is planned. “Sometimes it requires a fair bit of detective work to find out who, for example, manages the land belonging to an undivided inherited estate. It makes for quite a family survey,” Mikko Pitkäkoski says of the task. The aim of getting in contact is to inform the landowners of the work planned for their land and to reach a joint solution that both serves the customers of the electricity network area and is suitable for the landowner. The electricity network company takes care of the planning and renovation of the network and landscapes the area to correspond to its state before the renovation began.
All in all, Marja Keväjärvi's experience of underground cabling as a landowner was positive. At the end of the process, she received electricity for her cottage island, and in addition, she is satisfied with the service she has received from Oulun Energia Sähköverkko Oy, which she describes as professional. “I felt that I was being listened to and that my concerns and questions were being taken seriously,” she sums up.