Blackout of the Austrian supply network only just prevented

8/27/2003Wien

Due to the increased power flow caused by a breakdown of the Hungary-Croatia 380 kV line a critical situation occurred in the supra-regional Austrian power grid today, Wednesday, before noon.

The heavy overload of the 220 kV line Ternitz-Hessenberg was reduced by far-reaching measures launched by VERBUND-Austrian Power Grid AG (APG) immediately. Thus a potential extensive blackout in the South of Austria was prevented.

Around 9:15 a.m. the Hungary-Croatia 380 kV line broke down for unknown reasons. As a result of the Europe-wide networking system the power flow increased substantially in the Austrian grid as well. The North-South lines, which date from the 1960s, were highly overloaded. The overload of the Ternitz-Hessenberg line triggered the breaking point in the connection to the Czech Republic.

At that point immediate switching actions and the use of all power plants available within the network area of APG were required to keep up the mains power supply. The good line connections to the other foreign countries also contributed decisively to the stabilization of the situation.

Thus an extensive power failure in the South of Austria, which could very well have spread to other regions in Austria as well, was only just prevented.

Critical situations like this would be easier to control if the 380 kV ring was already completed, and the occurrence of a blackout would have been very unlikely. This shows again that the quick construction of the 380 kV ring in Austria is absolutely essential for the security of supply.