Hundreds of hectares of protected forest to be regenerated thanks to E.ON development

Power lines and poles to disappear from Natura 2000 sites in the Buda Landscape Protection Area

The Buda Landscape Protection Area, also known as the “lungs of the capital”, is crossed by the E.ON backbone network built in the 70s and 80s, which provides electricity to the surrounding settlements – Nagykovácsi, Máriaremete, Remeteszőlős, Solymár, Pesthidegkút, Pilisszentiván, Pilisvörösvár, Piliscsaba – and more than 40,000 consumers.

In response to the growing consumer demand, E.ON has completely renewed the Solymár substation, which serves these most energy-intensive settlements in the region, and has also started to dismantle part of the medium-voltage network in the surroundings and protected forests and replace it with underground cables.

In the context of the project, E.ON is removing and replacing more than 450 poles and 50 kilometres of overhead lines with underground cables in Natura 2000 areas and residential areas in the Buda Landscape Protection Area. The installation of an underground cable network will significantly reduce the exposure of the area’s electricity supply to the forces of nature, thus ensuring safer operation. The upgraded sections will eliminate storm damage and power outages caused by falling trees and will eliminate the need for felling in residential areas and continuous opening management in protected forests.

In addition to operational safety, underground cable is a major step forward from a nature conservation perspective. The dismantling of the medium-voltage network can significantly increase the area covered by trees by several hundred hectares, and the artificially straight lines of the openings can be healed by self-reforestation or by planting native tree species.

The complete renewal of the Solymár substation and the development of the electricity network with underground cables by 2025 will cost more than HUF 2 billion. The investment will be partly financed by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) with pre-financing and support from the Hungarian Government, and partly self-financed by the E.ON Hungaria Group.

E.ON is also taking sustainability aspects into account in the further use of the hundreds of tonnes of dismantled raw material: the 50-60 year old iron poles removed from their former locations will be cast in, the pole switches installed a few years ago will be reused, and the dismantled cables will be recycled as aluminium.