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11.4 million euros for the security of supply in the region: construction works at zell am ziller substation completed

In 2022 Austria’s transmission system operator APG will invest a total of 48 million euros to develop a high-capacity infrastructure in the grid control area of the province Tyrol.

Rohrberg/Zell am Ziller/Vienna, 24.02.2021: The construction works at the Zell am Ziller substation (Rohrberg) are completed. As Austria’s transmission system operator who is responsible for the trans-regional high-voltage grid infrastructure Austrian Power Grid (APG) has invested 11.4 million euros in the modernization of the 110 kV switchgear since 2018 and in doing so has considerably improved the electricity supply in the Ziller and Gerlos valleys and strengthened the region as business location, in particular with regard to the winter tourism industry which requires a lot of energy.

Important hub in the Austrian electricity grid

The Zell am Ziller substation is located at an important hub in APG‘s Austria-wide high-voltage grid: A 380 kV line arrives from the East and then continues as 220 kV line towards the West. This makes it possible that climate-friendly wind power from Lower Austria or Burgenland can be utilized in Tyrol as the need arises. In the region itself the substation receives and relays electricity from the Zemm power plant group which comprises the power plants Mayrhofen, Rosshaag and Häusling, as well as from the Gerlos power plant. In addition, the APG substation is an important support for the distribution grid of Tiroler Netze GmbH (TINETZ), through which all households and businesses in the province are supplied.

Fit for the future within three years: new 110 kV switchgear operational

The 110 kV switchgear of the Zell am Ziller substation (which also comprises 220 kV and 380 kV switchgears) was set up in 1949 and was in dire need of refurbishment after many years of operation. Within the scope of its investment program APG thus undertook a thorough renovation of the 110 kV switchgear to make it fit for the future: “In a total of eleven renovation steps we have completely dismantled the old 110 kV switchgear and replaced it with a new state-of-the-art infrastructure thus modernizing the feed-in of electricity from APG’s Austria-wide 220/380 kV grid into the 110 kV grids of TINETZ all over the province. Also TINETZ invested four million euros in the renovation of their 110/25(30) kV switchgear at the same location. With these investments, together with TINETZ, we were able to considerably improve the electricity supply of the region and to secure the region’s appeal as business location“, says Karl Scheibenhofer who coordinated the construction works for APG. He explains: “Instead of the old 110 kV outdoor switchgear we have installed a state-of-the-art SF6 indoor switchgear. This means that the new 110 kV switchgear is set up in a hall and takes up much less space.” This indoor set up was also important for ensuring an uninterrupted electricity supply, recalls Scheibenhofer when looking back on the biggest challenge of the project: “To ensure an undisturbed security of supply for all customers during the 3-year construction period we had to use several makeshift solutions to maintain the substation’s operability.“

Until 2032: 3.5 billion for Austria’s electricity infrastructure, 390 million for Tyrol

“Until 2032 APG will invest a total of 3.5 billion euros in grid expansion and modernization measures in Austria. 390 million are dedicated to the grid control area of Tyrol where approximately 48 million euros will be invested in 2022, for instance in the construction of a new substation at Nauders“, says Christoph Schuh, APG’s company spokesperson, who also explains why this enormous investment is necessary: “As transmission system operator our efforts are crucial for the security of supply in our country, for the success of the energy transition and for the increasing electrification of society, economy and industry – to an ever increasing degree electricity is becoming the number one source of energy in all aspects of life: from streaming to electric vehicles. Since Austria is striving for climate neutrality by 2040, the electricity that is necessary for all these aspects has to be generated mainly by water, wind and solar power. A high-capacity transmission grid is the precondition for the nation-wide management and distribution of these sustainable forms of energy so that all consumers can be guaranteed a secure energy supply.” 

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