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Supplying electricity: a balancing act for the APG Team

The APG team is made up of about 490 specialists working around the clock, 365 days a year, to make sure that Austria is supplied with electricity. Their core task is to maintain a constant balance between electricity supply and demand.

Grid System Operation

About 490 highly trained APG employees work every day to ensure safe, failure-free operation of all APG systems, to maintain the APG grid and, should malfunctions occur, to see to it that the glitch is resolved quickly. Moreover, steadily rising electricity consumption and an enormous increase in the feed-in of electricity from renewables mean that electricity transmission networks must be carefully expanded with an eye to tomorrow’s needs.

APG is responsible for maintaining grid voltage and frequency as well as for handling electricity imports and exports both to and from Austria. It provides a technically and economically optimised structure for grid operations and for supplying the distribution networks operated by the state energy companies.

Grid system operation: a matter of balance

APG is Austria’s control area leader, and is therefore responsible for balancing the supply and demand of electricity in Austria on an ongoing basis. When the grid frequency is maintained at a constant 50 hertz, the supply of electricity is stable and functions smoothly.

As the share of renewable energies in the total power supply rises, it becomes increasingly challenging to keep the balance between generation and consumption steady given that generation from renewables is subject to fluctuation based on weather conditions.

Network safety and security: the utmost priority

Safety and security are key values at APG. In operating its grid, APG ensures N-1 redundancy. This means that if one system component fails, another is available to replace it to ensure that the power supply is uninterrupted. Ongoing calculations ensure the N-1 security of the system. APG employees follow the highest of safety standards in the operation, servicing and maintenance of APG’s systems. Their safety, too, is of the utmost importance.

All information on the domestic transmission grid is conveyed to and processed by the APG control centre - heart of the Austrian electricity transport network. Any malfunctions in the grid are handled by APG specialists at the control centre. Often, it’s necessary to take the right action to stabilise the grid within seconds: does a power line need to be put online or taken offline? Where is the grid energy too low? Where in the grid is too much energy flowing? What steps can be taken to bring the power grid back into balance?
APG Control centre at night

The control centre’s tasks include...

planning and coordinating more than 100,000 electricity transports each year

managing operation of the APG grid

optimising load flows

implementing congestion management procedures

coordinating plant shutdowns for overhaul

The line team is a special unit at APG that is often working at the limits of its capacity. The team is primarily responsible for maintaining and servicing the overhead power lines. Depending on the type of work to be performed, power to the affected line will be cut temporarily. The line team uses the ensuing time window to check the line, including its clamps and fittings, and to carry out repair or maintenance operations. In extreme cases, the team has to work on pylons of up to 100 metres in height. Experience and perfectly synchronised teamwork are an absolute must in such situations.
We transport the electricity of the future!