March 13 (Renewables Now) - Transmission system operators Austrian Power Grid AG (APG) and TenneT have broken the ground on a project for the construction of a power line between Germany and Austria that will enable wind power transmission from northern Europe to pumped storage plants in the Alps.
The new 380 kV line will run from St. Peter am Hart in Upper Austria to Altheim in Bavaria. It will connect APG's grid node in St. Peter with the TenneT substations in Simbach, Ottenhofen, Isar and Pleinting in Bavaria.
The interconnector, which is designated as a project of common interest (PCI), is planned to be operational in 2027.
The construction of the new line is part of the efforts to better integrate Austria into the European electricity market. The 380 kV line will ensure more security by providing Austrian electricity consumers with better access to the European power market, according to APG's chief technology officer Gerhard Christiner.
The two existing 220 kV lines from St. Peter to Bavaria were built in the 1940s and 1960s and their capacity is not enough to meet the growing renewable energy needs in the course of the energy transition. In addition, the lack of grid capacity also prevents the supply of clean electricity from Germany to Austrian electricity consumers.
Christiner noted that the high number of redispatch measures is not only a warning that the exiting power lines are reaching their capacity limits but also a financial burden for all consumers. In 2022 alone, the costs for redispatch measures in this area amounted to EUR 718 million (USD 760.07m), Christiner added.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.059)