The starting point of the November blackout was in Northern Germany in the grid belonging to E.ON where a violation of what is referred to as the (n-1) safety criterion took place. "It means that in the event of a failure or shut-down of a high-voltage line or a transformer it must be ensured that the additional power surge from other parts of the grid can be coped with. At the time this was not the case and the chain reaction that followed had far reaching consequences. In total, around 10 million Europeans, among them 60,000 Austrians, were without power," explained Kaupa. In Austria compliance with the n-1 security criterion is not fully provided due to the missing 380 kV gap closures in the transmission line. "This definitely makes us a weak spot in the European extra-high voltage network," Kaupa pointed out.
"We fully support the recommendations issued by the EU Commission on strengthening grid security," said Kaupa, at the same time criticising the difficult framework conditions imposed on APG in Austria. "We not only want to, we have to invest in line construction, only we are unable to do it to the degree necessary because of the lengthy and tedious approval procedures," added Kaupa, referring specifically to the gaps in the domestic 380 kV grid.
Already at an early stage, APG implemented an extensive training and advanced training programme at all levels including an instruction programme and regular crisis drills to be optimally prepared in cases of emergency. Training also includes grid failure simulation drills that are carried out in Germany.