NEP 2020
11-26-2020
Austrian Power Grid Ensures Security of Electricity Supply in Times of Transformation

E-Control approves APG’s network development plan which envisages an investment program of € 3.1 billion in Austria’s security of supply and sustainable electricity system.

An efficient transmission grid is indispensable for achieving climate and energy targets and ensuring sustainable and secure supply in Austria. APG’s investments in the transmission grid over the next ten years will create the preconditions for supplying Austria with electricity from renewable sources in a secure, sustainable and affordable way. All projects which are planned or where construction works are already in progress are included in the most recent network development plan (NDP) 2020.

“Based on the given general conditions APG has provided quite an ambitious plan regarding grid expansion and modernization – and we are considering the timely implementation of all the projects as elementary basis for a safe transition to a sustainable future energy system in Austria: CO2-free electricity supply, highest level of grid reliability and security of supply, well-priced electricity for people and businesses and a complete decarbonization of the country”, emphasizes Gerhard Christiner, APG’s CTO.

The current NDP envisages expansion and new construction projects of lines and substations all over Austria. “The main motor in this context are the massively increasing production capacities of renewables and the growing demand of green energy in business and industry. To ensure the best possible integration of the renewables in the electricity grid the transmission capacities have to be continuously expanded and new substations have to be built“, explains Christiner.

With a total investment of € 3.1 billion APG also provides an important boost for Austria as a location for business and industry. “In the next ten years APG will invest € 3.1 billion in the modernization of its grid infrastructure. Especially in the next three years we consider this investment as important impulse for Austria’s economy, which will create or sustainably protect jobs “, emphasizes Thomas Karall, APG’s CFO.

The present NDP also illustrates Austria’s important role within Europe. “Some of the projects that are planned or already in construction will improve Austria’s access to the European electricity markets – in particular to the German market. This is particularly important to facilitate the long-term access of Austria’s people and all of its businesses to well-priced electricity. In the future this will also be a decisive factor for a successful business and industry location “, explains Thomas Karall.

Both managers emphasizes that “the present NDP does not yet consider all of the most recent developments in the context of the adoption of the Renewable Energies Expansion Act (EAG) by the Austrian government. We consider this as the biggest challenge of the upcoming year: to translate the provisions of the EAG in the fields of energy production, supply, consumption and exchange in a comprehensive program of measures and to include them in the NDP 2021.”

E-Control (Austria’s energy system regulator) considers Austria to be well-prepared to cope with the immediate challenges in the electricity and energy systems. “Efficient, high-capacity transmission grids are indispensable for achieving the energy policy targets defined both on a national and international level. Also in the coming years transmission grids will have to face big challenges. Austria’s aim to supply the whole country with 100 percent electricity from renewables by 2030 is one of the main reasons why the expansion of the transmission infrastructure is necessary. In addition, only efficient, high-capacity transmission grids can guarantee the security of supply that Austrian customers are used to“, says the E-Control’s executive director Andreas Eigenbauer. And executive director Wolfgang Urbantschitsch adds: “Already during the past few years E-Control has supported the creation and enhancement of conditions and incentives for large investments in the transmission grid. The present NDP 2020 provides more planning certainty and the basis for ensuring long-term security of electricity supply in Austria.”

About APG’s network development plan 2020 (www.apg.at/en/Stromnetz/Netzentwicklung)

APG plans its infrastructure projects with foresight and well in advance on the basis of various scenarios in the energy sector, general political conditions, and new technical and technological developments. The NDP is drafted annually, subject to a public consultation process and eventually approved by E-Control Austria. The NDP 2020 includes the most important projects of the next ten years regarding the APG transmission grid and its interfaces with various distribution grids, among which the projects of the next three years (2021 to 2023) have to be implemented mandatorily. The NDP 2020 submitted by APG in August 2020 was approved by E-Control Austria on November 19, 2020.

Between 2021 and 2030 APG will invest a total of € 3.1 billion in grid expansion and modernization projects to ensure security of supply and grid reliability in Austria also in the future so that the supply of industry and businesses, as well as individual households can be maintained sustainably and in high-quality.

Projects for a secure and sustainable energy future in Austria

APG’s NDP 2020 comprises a total of 36 grid expansion projects. Compared to the NDP 2019, three projects have already been implemented and started operation, while two new projects have been included in the NDP 2020. The 36 projects of the NDP 2020 are classified as follows:

  • 19 projects of national or international interest
  • 14 grid connection projects with distribution grid operators
  • 3 grid connection projects with power stations

Some of APG’s most important and large-scale projects are:

  • Salzburg line (ensures security of supply in Salzburg and connects sites of renewable energies production with the pumped-storage hydropower stations in the Alps)
  • Weinviertel line (integration of wind energy and better security of supply)
  • Central Area Upper Austria (strengthens the area as location for business and industry)
  • Germany line (expansion of the transmission capacities between Germany and Austria)
  • Reschenpass/ Passo die Resia project (expansion of the transmission capacities between Austria and Italy)
  • Numerous expansion and modernization projects, including new substations (e.g. substations Villach South, Klaus, Matrei, Mürztal, Vienna East, Innkreis, Prottes)