Since many citizens continued asking for underground solutions for various reasons (fear of EMF, preservation of landscape, nature concerns), the Dutch government and TenneT decided to commission the Technical University of Delft to conduct a study on the technical feasibility of underground solutions for 380kV cables.
The University came to the conclusion that the risks of cables could be borne by a distance of up to approximately 20 km for the Randstad380 project. The Ministry thus decided that this should be tested. TenneT and the Ministry faced difficulties in finding the right parts of the route for the underground solution. This is due to the issue that people living close to a proposed line, which would not be underground, felt they were treated unfairly. The final decision was taken by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Criteria for the decision included e.g. technical necessity (for instance when crossing the North Sea canal), safety requirements in the area of the airport Schiphol, or the combination of other aspects, such as nature, recreational, and other densely populated areas among others.