Power line compensation of expropriation on forest land is the sum of many things

The deployment of wind power and other electricity infrastructure requires transmission lines that enable electricity to be made available throughout Finland. The land under the transmission lines will be compensated to the landowner in accordance with the law on expropriation. The aim of the law is to guarantee the landowner full compensation for the land expropriated. Compensation for expropriated forest land varies according to the amount, quality and location of the forest cover. The most common compensation amounts are in the thousands of euros, taking into account the income from the sale of timber and compensation for lost future earnings.

There is currently a lot of misinformation about compensation of the expropriation of forest land under power lines. This may be due to unfamiliarity with the compensation criteria set out in the expropriation law and the assumption that the expropriation amount is simply the value of the land. However, compensation is the sum of many things and the value of the land is only one and usually the smallest factor in compensation.

The expropriation law aligns that full compensation for the property to be expropriated must be determined in accordance with the fair market value of the property. “The expropriation law is not outdated. It still today implements the general principles of how compensations are generally defined.Even today, every landowner still receives full compensation for their losses at fair market value”, says Mikko Kuoppala, Senior Expert at Fingrid.

What does the expropriation payment consist of?                               

In general terms, the full compensation provided for in the expropriation law is for the economic loss caused to the landowner by the project. The compensation consists of compensation for damage to the site, compensation for damage and compensation for inconvenience. In the case of forest land, compensation is granted for the loss of land, plus damages for the loss of recently planted forest, damage caused by premature logging and other losses such as forest improvement work that have been lost.

What are the amounts of compensation for expropriation?

The value of forest land is a few hundred euros per hectare. Compensation for the loss of a recently planted forest and for damage caused by premature logging can be worth several thousand euros per hectare. On the other hand, the value of the timber to be removed for a project can be worth up to more than ten thousand euros per hectare. Overall, the average expropriation payment on forest land is therefore more in the thousands of euros per hectare rather than the hundreds of euros per hectare often quoted in the public domain.

Rent is paid for land under wind farms

“Land under wind farms is not bought back, it is always rented. However, the procedure for buying up transmission lines also applies to wind power projects, since the buying-up procedure is the procedure for authorising a transmission line. It is therefore important that incorrect information is corrected and that landowners get a true picture of the level of compensation for the expropriation”, says Anni Mikkonen, CEO of the Finnish Wind Energy Association. “Even though the compensation is in reality significantly higher than the publicised compensation, the Finnish Wind Power Association believes that the compensation can be increased, as long as wind power is treated like all other entities using the compensation procedure,” adds Mikkonen.

(Machine translation)

For more information:

Mikko Kuoppala, Senior Expert, Fingrid Oyj

+358 50 079 9599, mikko.kuoppala@fingrid.fi