Wien/Neusiedl a. d. Zaya – The groundbreaking ceremony for APG’s Weinviertel line took place about two years ago. The need of building a new line to replace the old one arose because the existing line had been in operation for more than 70 years and therefore was in dire need of renovation and the demands of the power industry on the grid infrastructure have increased considerably. “By modernizing the Waldviertel line APG can ensure the security of supply in Lower Austria for the next decades and facilitate the integration of wind power (which is mainly produced in the East of Austria) in the regional and trans-regional grids. The line is thus an important element for reaching the goals of the climate and energy roadmap of Lower Austria as well as achieving the objectives of the Austrian Climate and Energy Strategy“, says Christoph Schuh, company spokesperson of APG.
The newly constructed replacement of the old line runs as 380kV line from Seyring to the substation Neusiedl a. d. Zaya, which is being constructed parallel to the work on the lines as part of the project. From the substation the line is connected with the Lower Austrian 110kV grid of the EVN subsidiary Netz Niederösterreich and also continues as 220kV line towards the national border with the Czech Republic. One advantage of the new line is that it requires 53 pylons less and is 15 km shorter than the old one.
Construction works on schedule
A lot has already happened since the groundbreaking, therefore APG and Netz Niederösterreich have invited to a tour of the construction site of the substation Zaya for an update on the progress of the works. “We are right on schedule with the construction. The concrete and building works at the substation are already completed. Also digging and earthwork operations are as good as finished. Currently the work focuses on the installation of the two technical units of the 220kV and 380kV switchgear – in this case so-called gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) – before the transformers will be delivered bit by bit over the next few months“, explains APG’s project manager Andreas Pischel.
Also the replacement construction of the Waldviertel line is making good progress. “To date all 202 concrete foundations for the pylons are completed. Now the pylons can be mounted. In fact, 150 pylons are already fully assembled. The stringing – i.e. the installation of the new conductor cable – is also completed for more than a third of the total line length“, adds Pischel. This means that virtually one year before the scheduled start of operation in the summer of 2022 construction works are right on track.
Secure and sustainable supply for all
Netz NÖ – a subsidiary of EVN – actively supports the project and will benefit from the new, more efficient line: “Our strategy is to consistently and reasonably continue to expand the share of renewables in the energy mix while at the same time making sure that the security of supply is never jeopardized. Together with APG we are the ones to truly implement the ‘energy transition‘“, states Stefan Zach, company spokesperson of Netz Niederösterreich.
To really utilize the additional energy provided by renewable sources a grid infrastructure with the appropriate capacity is necessary. Thus APG will invest approximately 357 million euros in 2021 alone in the Austrian energy infrastructure. With the new Weinviertel line Lower Austria will be equipped with a high- capacity, efficient and sustainable grid connection for feeding in renewables from the region and distributing the green electricity all over Austria via the APG grid, so that the energy can get to where it is needed. In addition, the new substation Zaya will provide more stability in view of ensuring a secure energy supply for business, industry and the population of the region.