Provisional transmission line to go into operation earlier than scheduled

3/10/2008Wien

The downbursts resulting from low-pressure windstorm "Emma" of 1 March, have, as already reported, also taken their toll on the transmission lines of VERBUND-Austrian Power Grid AG (APG). An analysis of the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics commissioned by APG shows that the causes are exceptional meteorological conditions.

Thanks to the amazing performance of approx. 150 employees of APG and the partner companies LBG and ALB, the temporary transmission line, with substitute pylons, will go into operation today, a day earlier than scheduled.  

The temporary line will help further stabilize APG's regional and supra-regional transmission grid. Thanks to the incredible work completed by the task force and the efficient coordination of planning, the provisional line was established within record time, even though the damages resulting from the exceptional meteorological conditions and the length of the affected segment of the damaged line (2.5 km) necessitated additional repair work. More than 150 employees of APG and the partner companies LGB and ALB were at work; the entire line was tested in full length numerous times. Especially pleasing was the cooperation with the local population.

"Thanks to the excellent level of preparedness as a result of regular emergency drills, the situation was quickly got under control and the supra-regional supply to the local power companies secured," says Dr. Heinz Kaupa, Chairman of the Board of APG, giving a first summary of events. "We would like to thank all employees, as well as residents, property owners and the municipalities for their support in the repair work."

Scientific analysis confirms exceptional meteorological conditions
A scientific investigation on the part of the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics commissioned by APG confirms assumptions that the cause responsible for the damages is an exceptional meteorological condition, the dimensions of which were not able to be foretold.

Hefty thunderstorm-related microburst, known as downbursts, occurred in connection with heavy downfalls, hitting APG's electricity pylons. Despite their reinforced structure, the pylons were not able to withstand this type of force. To this date, downbursts of this intensity have not been recorded in Austria; the probability of occurrence is comparable to that of a century flood.

Proven system guarantees safety
The system of overhead transmission lines has been proven for decades throughout the world, providing safety particularly in the transmission grid. As seen in the current case, damages here, unlike damages in other systems, can be repaired quickly whilst safeguarding the security of supply.

Next steps in collaboration with the authorities
Now, together with the authorities in charge, it has to be determined when and how the affected transmission line segments can be rebuilt. "For us, the safety of the population and the security of supply come first. We are aware of our responsibility and are now, in collaboration with experts and the authorities in charge, seeking an optimal solution," Thomas Karall, Chairman of the Board of APG, says with emphasis.