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E.ON picks Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ eco-friendly composite poles
When E.ON needed to upgrade five kilometers of power line in a pristine forest in Sweden it chose the new composite utility poles
E.ON is an international energy company focused on smart grids and consumer solutions to drive the energy transition in Europe. As a part of its corporate philosophy, E.ON has committed to deploying innovative sustainable solutions in the field of energy.
When E.ON was required to upgrade an existing 10 kilovolt (kV) power distribution line situated in the Småland forest, a major source of fresh water in Åseda, Sweden, the company decided to look for an alternative solution to the wooden poles currently in use due to concerns around their environmental impact. These poles are impregnated with creosote or copper salts as preservatives, but these can leak into aquatic ecosystems.
E.ON found the solution in Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ new composite poles, made of a glassfiber-reinforced epoxy tube with an outer thermoplastic shell. The innovative exterior protective layer protects the load-bearing composite from UV radiation, external influences, and mechanical wear. As the post does not contain any harmful substances that can leak into nature, it is excellent for use in environmentally sensitive areas.
Based on decades of experience in the manufacture of insulators and fiber winding, Hitachi ABB Power Grids designed the ideal pole to meet tough strength and stiffness requirements and to handle combined load cases(2) without leakages into the environment. It is manufactured at Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ unit in Piteå, Sweden.
“Many good ideas risk not being sold if no one pilots them. At E.ON, we take on the social responsibility to introduce new technologies that will benefit society. The feedback I received from the team in Åseda is positive: the pole from Hitachi ABB Power Grids is strong, flexible and meets our requirements,” said Peter Ipsen, specialist in overhead power lines at E.ON.
“It is easy to climb, maintenance-free and easy to install. Unlike wooden poles, no impregnation is needed, and therefore there are no chemicals that can leak into nature. This pole is a perfect solution in environmentally sensitive areas”, said Jenny Larsson, Managing Director at Hitachi ABB Power Grids in Sweden.
For some time now, E.ON has banned creosote in power line poles, and most often uses copper-salt-impregnated wooden poles. However, when utility poles near parks, residential plots and water bodies are to be replaced, E.ON prefers to use composite poles to ensure there is no possibility of chemicals leaking into the soil and water of sensitive eco-systems.
 Creosote is a category of carbonaceous chemicals formed by the distillation of various tars and pyrolysis of plant-derived material, such as wood or fossil fuel. They are typically used as wood preservatives.
 The pole meets both strength and stiffness requirements of standard SS-EN 50341-2-18 including combined load cases. Normal EBR kits can be used easily, with fully threaded screws and pre-drilled screw holes.