In the first half of 2023, Swissgrid continued to invest in the maintenance and modernization of the grid infrastructure and implemented the Confederation’s measures to ensure Switzerland’s security of supply. Net income amounted to CHF 51.6 million in the first half of 2023 (2022: CHF 47.8 million).Work is progressing on the voltage increase from 220 kV to 380 kV on the existing line between Bassecourt and Mühleberg. This change is essential to ensure security of supply in Central Switzerland, especially during the winter months. The necessary construction measures were initiated in mid-August 2022. Existing electricity pylons and other components are being modified. In total, work will be carried out on 56 of the 142 pylons and on the transition structures of the two substations in Pieterlen and Bassecourt so that the line can be put into operation at 380 kV by the end of 2023.
Another project concerns the planned installation of a new transformer in the Bonaduz substation, which will increase the operational flexibility of the substation, thereby improving security of supply in the canton of Grisons and in Switzerland as a whole. This transformer will connect the 380-kilovolt grid to the 220-kilovolt grid. A groundbreaking ceremony in June marked the start of construction work for the installation of the new transformer and the modernization of the substation.
In spring 2023, Swissgrid and SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) also submitted a planning application for the replacement of the high-voltage submarine cables between Brusino and Morcote. The cable route is 2.8 km long, and a total of six Swissgrid cables and two SBB cables will be replaced. By submitting the planning application to ESTI (Federal Inspectorate for Heavy Current Installations) for the replacement of the high-voltage submarine cables, Swissgrid and SBB are laying the foundations for guaranteeing the supply of electricity in the Sottoceneri region and the Ticino railway network.
In February 2023, Swissgrid completed the grid connection of the Birr reserve power plant within less than six months. This was one of the additional tasks entrusted to Swissgrid by the Confederation to ensure Switzerland’s security of supply. This ensured that the Birr reserve power plant would have been ready for use as early as the end of winter 2022/2023 in the event of a power shortage. In addition, Swissgrid procured the first tranche of the hydropower reserve for the coming winter in May 2023.