At the beginning of the spatial planning phase, Statnett goes public with each grid expansion project for the first time. For this step, project managers are trained by the communication department on how to address the media. In these training sessions, participants deal with difficult FAQs and prepare on how to best handle angry or emotional citizens.
At this stage in the process, public meetings are organised together with the the state Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). Normally, one meeting is arranged per municipality. For this, Statnett sends out direct mailings announcing the meeting together with an information brochure to every household in the possible corridors. The brochure explains the status quo of the planning proposal, contains contact information, and shows when and how people can participate in the planning procedure.
At these meetings, Statnett is represented by the project manager, a project planner, and someone from the local office of Statnett. The latter are normally well-known in the region and thus trusted contact persons for citizens. Statnett notes that these personal relations help when discussing a concrete project. Whenever citizens state interest in personal talks or joint field trips in their municipalities, Statnett meets these requests. Statnett reports positive experiences in staying extra hours after the events in order to have one-on-one talks with citizens who do not want to pose their questions in a bigger forum.