Flood Disaster: Supergrid Running to Full Capacity

8/26/2002Vienna

During the recent flood disaster it was the efficiency of the 380 kV connection to the neighbouring countries and their support that saved the affected areas from wide-ranging power failures.

As power was transported from distant power plants to the areas in the north and east, where it was needed, the existing 220 kV supergrid nearly reached the limit of its capacity.

Such bottleneck-situations had also occurred during the winter months of 2001/2002. In this connection VERBUND-Austrian Power Grid AG (APG) again emphasizes the importance of extending the higher-voltage grid through the planned 380 kV lines from the distribution station of Tauern/Kaprun via Salzburg to St. Peter/Braunau on Inn and from the distribution station of Kainachtal, located south of Graz, to the south of the province of Burgenland. A powerful 380 kV transmission line network is indispensable for ensuring the electricity supply in Austria in the long run and in crisis situations.

The electricity generation of the run-of-river stations on the Danube, Enns, Salzach and Inn rivers was reduced to a minimum due to the flood. Within a very short period of time, the output of the power plants on the Danube dropped to approximately 10 % of their capacity - an all-time low. The production gap in the areas affected by the flood had to be filled by increased utilization of the power plants in southern and western Austria and by massive importation.

In all, the Austrian power industry was only just able to handle the difficult situation caused by the floodwaters, thanks to powerful line connections and strong interconnection with 380kV lines in our neighbouring countries.