APG: package of measures for the upcoming winter months

11/2/2006Vienna

Pressure on the North-South circuit increases once more in winter months. Bottleneck management has been necessary since last week. The first phase-shifting transformer has been in operation since 31 October. Strong storms have led to a large amount of additional wind energy.

“The coming winter will again be a real endurance test for the supply guarantee. Time will tell whether our comprehensive emergency measures, which we have put in place over the last months and weeks, will be sufficient to bridge the gaps in the Austrian high voltage grid,” said Heinz Kaupa, Technical Director of APG, in light of the first cold days.

Furthermore, at the weekend there was an enormous increase in eco-electricity from wind energy on account of the strong storms. This also resulted in a considerable additional strain for the grid.

Bottleneck management has been necessary since last week
“In the winter months, the situation along the North-South circuit worsens dramatically due to the increased energy requirements,” stressed Kaupa. “Since the past week, we are again putting costly bottleneck management measures in place in order to protect the grid and to guarantee the supply of electrical energy to southern Austria,” continued Kaupa.

The first phase-shifting transformer began operating today
An integral part of the comprehensive package of measures, which the APG has put together over the last weeks and months in order to be prepared for the additional strain presented by winter, are three so-called phase-shifting transformers that will be installed along the 220 kV weak capacitance circuit from northern to southern Austria. The first transformer went into operation in Kaprun today.

Like taps in a network of water pipes, these special transformers regulate the maximum circuit flow rate and are one of the very final measures to prevent a physical overload of the circuit. “However, a real and lasting solution can only be achieved by closing the gaps in the 380 kV grid,” Kaupa concluded.