Loïc Ehrler is one of the team members responsible for operating the transmission grid and maintaining a frequency of 50 Hertz. As an operator in the Prilly grid control room, he performs switching operations through which he can control the various grid elements. For example, line sections need to be shut down so that maintenance can be carried out, or when grid operations call for it. These switching operations demand close coordination between Swissgrid and the distribution system operators. The lower grid levels are connected to the extra-high-voltage grid via transformers. This means that they can be managed using switching operations.
Where theory meets practice
Julia Song has the future transmission grid in her sights. As a project engineer, she supervises line construction projects and compares the possible line corridor variants as part of the upstream sectoral plan process. One of the objectives throughout this process is to protect both water and the environment. She also conducts site visits to maintain an overview of the construction projects. Once all factors and interests have been aligned, a complete draft of the line corridor is prepared for the Swiss Federal Council.
In any weather
Another person who spends a lot of time onsite is Cécile Jost. She is responsible for pylon and line safety. As facility manager, she commissions service providers to carry out visual inspections and maintenance activities to ensure that pylons and lines can be operated safely. Cécile Jost is out and about three days a week in any weather, either on foot, by car or in a helicopter. Her role puts her in contact with people in the immediate vicinity of pylons and lines, such as residents, district foresters and construction service providers.
Building bridges for the benefit of all
Jérémy Plumejau, Manager Stakeholder Affairs, is in close contact with partners in the industry. Swissgrid works extensively with energy producers and distribution system operators. Valais in particular plays an important role in grid stability thanks to its highly flexible hydropower plants. As a «bridge builder» he draws on his vast network to coordinate complex issues and represent the interests of Swissgrid and stakeholders alike. One way he does this is by developing solutions that are acceptable to all parties to deadlocked construction projects.
Enabling virtual power plants
Serge Wisselmann, Head of Ancillary Service Procurement, is another colleague with an interest in market-driven solutions. His team's role includes procuring control reserves to maintain the 50 Hertz standard transmission grid frequency. Swissgrid is responsible for this power market and constantly strives to develop innovative solutions in this area. For example, small hydropower plants can merge to form a virtual power plant. This gives them the critical mass required to participate in the market.
Committed to a well-functioning work environment
As Head of Real Estate & Administration Services, Nicolas Gysi is not just responsible for administrative matters, such as the reception area, internal mail and building cleaning services. His remit also extends to technical maintenance, heating, ventilation and climate control as well as the supply of drinking water. This is particularly challenging in the grid control room, which needs to run as a self-sufficient unit in an emergency. Nicolas and his team are constantly working to provide a well-functioning and pleasant work environment for Swissgrid employees.