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APG: Ernsthofen Substation – Mega Project for Secure Power Supply

APG invests 150 million euros in modernization of the substation Ernsthofen and saves 97% CO2 through steel transport by train.

The Ernsthofen substation is one of the largest and most important for the Austrian power supply in the APG grid. Essential trans-regional and regional supply lines converge at this grid node.

Since it has been in operation for a long period of time (since the 1940s), a comprehensive modernization of the 110 kV and 220 kV switchgear is necessary to ensure a secure power supply in the region for future generations and to meet the challenges of the energy future. 

General overhaul for a secure electricity supply

The modernization of the 110 kV facility started in 2017 and was already successfully completed at the end of 2022. APG invested 50 million euros in this part of the project alone. Currently, construction preparations are underway for the general renewal of the 220 kV switchgear, in which APG is investing around 100 million euros. "This part of the plant alone covers an area of 71,000m², which is roughly equivalent to 10 soccer fields. In addition, around 22,000m² will be required for the construction for temporary facilities, a container village and storage areas," says Jürgen Pilgerstorfer, project manager at APG, describing the dimensions of the project. 

In addition, a total of three new 220/110 kV large power transformers (LPTs) will be set up at the Ernsthofen substation until the project’s completion in 2029 - the first one already started operation in the summer of 2022. In total, ten of these high-performance transformers will ensure a secure supply of electricity in the region and throughout Austria after completion of the project.

Train transport for climate protection

In total, the project requires around 30,000m3 of concrete, 110,000m3 of earthmoving and 1,400 tons of steel. Previously, it was common practice to transport these quantities of steel by truck, which was inefficient and polluted the environment with high CO2 emissions. Due to the fact that the Ernsthofen substation has a rail siding, this time the delivery was, for the first time, carried out by train. This made it possible to transport much higher quantities of steel at once and at the same time significantly reduce CO2 emissions. 

With the last 87-ton steel transport to the Ernsthofen substation, APG was able to cut CO2 emissions by almost 97 percent compared with the conventional transport method. To protect the environment, three more steel shipments to the Ernsthofen substation totaling around 1,400 tons of steel will be carried out by train in the coming years. 

Considerable importance for the region an Austria as a whole

"The Ernsthofen substation is the link between Lower Austria and Upper Austria. The Linz metropolitan area in particular is a central region for Austrian business and industry. The trans-regional transport of surplus wind energy from the east of Austria to the pumped storage power plants in the Alps also takes place via this electricity infrastructure. In addition, increased transmission capacities are a top priority due to the progressing electrification of all other sectors," explains Christoph Schuh, corporate spokesperson for APG.

APG is investing a total of 150 million euros in the mega project to ensure a secure supply of electricity, the electrification of businesses, industry and society, and thus the success of the energy transition. The measures at the site will improve transport capacity and capability throughout the APG grid. Highly fluctuating energy flows can thus be better managed by APG, increasing security of supply not only in the region but for the whole of Austria. 

The work started in 2017 and will be completed in 2029. Thanks to the use of elaborate temporary high-voltage structures, the power supply will remain guaranteed throughout the modernization work.

Timely implementation of all investment projects is key for a successful energy transition without jeopardizing the security of supply

The project in Ernsthofen is one of the most important substation projects in the current APG grid development plan for the period up to 2032, which comprises a total of 46 grid expansion projects. Their timely implementation is a prerequisite for the transformation of the energy system while at the same time guaranteeing the security of electricity supply. APG therefore calls for 

  • comprehensive, coordinated overall system planning,
  • acceleration of approval procedures,
  • protection of existing and planned routes,
  • provision of sufficient resources to the authorities 
  • and secure financing through a modern regulatory system

Investments in a sustainable and secure energy system

Investments like these are necessary to ensure a secure power supply even with regard to the challenges of the energy future. "APG is investing 3.5 billion euros until 2032 in the domestic electricity infrastructure (including 490 million euros in 2023). Only if we are able to implement all of the investment projects in a timely manner can the energy transition, or the necessary electrification of all social, economic and industrial processes, succeed according to our responsibility towards future generations," emphasizes Christoph Schuh.


About Austrian Power Grid (APG)

As independent transmission system operator Austrian Power Grid (APG) is in charge of ensuring the security of electricity supply in Austria. With our high-performance and digital electricity infrastructure and the use of state-of-the-art technologies we integrate renewable energies, we are the platform for the electricity market, and we provide access to reasonably priced electricity for Austria’s consumers and thus create the basis for Austria as supply-secure industrial and business location and place to live. The APG grid totals a length of about 3,400 km and is operated, maintained and continuously adapted to the increasing challenges of the electrification of businesses, industry and society by a team of approximately 733 specialists. Also in 2022 Austria had a security of supply of 99.99 percent and thus ranks among the top countries worldwide. Our investments of 490 million euros in 2023 (2022: 370 million euros) are a motor for the Austrian economy and a crucial factor in reaching Austria’s climate and energy targets. Until 2032 APG will invest a total of approximately 3.5 billion euros in grid expansion and renovation projects, which amounts to approximately 19 percent of the total of 18 billion euros which the energy industry will invest in the grid infrastructure over the next ten years.

Press contact


Christoph Schuh

Wagramer Straße 19 (IZD-Tower)
1220 Wien

Phone +43 50 32056230 Email
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