Last Friday saw the ground-breaking for the refurbishment of Pradella substation in Zernez (GR). The realisation of this project marks the enhancement of an important supply hub in the Lower Engadine region and thus an increase in the supply security of the side valleys Samnaun and Val Müstair. The project concerned is a joint venture between Swissgrid Ltd and Engadiner Kraftwerke AG.
The existing single-strand 380 kV power line between Pradella and La Punt constitutes a bottleneck in the current transmission grid. Swissgrid is therefore planning to upgrade the power line to 2x380 kilovolt (kV) over its full length. The project concerned will improve Swiss and European grid security while at the same time sustainably reducing emissions for both the population and the environment. The necessary basis for this will be created at the Pradella grid hub.
The 220 kV outdoor switching substation was put into operation in 1970 when the Engadine power plants were constructed. There have been various additions and extensions since then. The most significant ones were the connection of the national transmission grid to West Tirol and the connection of the Martina power plant in 1993.
The 380 kV busbar, a key element of the substation, will be duplicated, so even if one transmission line fails the EKW plants will still be able to feed power to the grid and the valleys will still be supplied with electricity.
The new Pradella substation will be undergoing gradual yet comprehensive refurbishment between 2015 and 2018 and is planned to be commissioned at the end of 2018. Together with our project partners, we have ceremonially laid the foundations for the realisation of this project through today’s ground-breaking.