The line reinforcement represents a significant contribution to the increasing of pan-European grid security and has therefore received funding from the EEPR (European Energy Programme for Recovery). VERBUND-Austrian Power Grid AG was able to acquire more than 11.6 million Euro in funding for the just under 29 million Euro project.
Country links are a decisive factor in European grid security
An important contribution to European grid security has been made through the strengthening of the power link between Austria and Hungary by means of the 380 kV line system between the Vienna Southeast transformer station and the Szombathely transformer station. "The power grid links between the neighbouring European countries limps behind the developments of the domestic power supply grids," says Thomas Karall, board member of VERBUND-Austrian Power Grid AG. "The European Commission’s efforts to deregulate the European electricity market are still relatively new. In the past decades, all power grid operators have put their main focus on their national grids. However, an EU-wide free electricity market is also only feasible if all necessary technical prerequisites for this are met - strong domestic and inter-country power grids." In particular, Karall highlighted the outstanding collaboration with the Hungarian partner operator, MAVIR ZRt. "The coordination and cooperation with our Hungarian colleagues was exemplary. We were therefore able to implement this important project in a rapid and smooth manner."
The utilization of wind power is only viable in a linked European power grid
It is not just the national grid that faces major challenges due to the strong expansion of wind power throughout Europe. Particularly subject to strain will be the inter-country grid links, which are somewhat weak in many places. "We grid operators – not just in Austria, but also – and above all – in Germany - are going to be faced with enormous amounts of wind power in the coming years," says Dr. Heinz Kaupa, board member of VERBUND-Austrian Power Grid AG. "The feeding-in of this temporally highly fluctuating generation of electricity represents a great challenge for the European grid. Each measure that strengthens the grid link between the strong generation in Northern Europe and the intensive consumption in the South is an important contribution to the sensible integration of wind power."