Regulation

Secure and balanced around the clock

The grid control rooms in Aarau and Prilly are the centrepiece of the Swiss transmission grid. This is where everything comes together.

The employees in the two control rooms, who are referred to as operators, monitor the entire Swiss transmission grid around the clock, making sure that electricity is reliably transported and distributed across all parts of the country.

However, this does not mean that the Swiss transmission grid is immune to fluctuations and unexpected grid loads. When this happens, it is time to call on the operators: Where does more energy need to flow to return the grid to equilibrium and the grid frequency to its target value of 50 Hertz? Where do lines have to be connected or disconnected? Working together with the grid control rooms in the neighbouring countries, the specialists make important decisions within seconds and bring current production and consumption back into balance.

The operators are pros at mastering critical grid situations. They are the ones who ensure the constant stability and reliability of the Swiss transmission grid around the clock, making sure it is always available.


The grid control room in Aarau: all tasks at a glance

Arbeitsplätze im Swissgrid Control Aarau
In the control room in Aarau, the workstations of the operators are clearly defined. With the exception of the IT expert, there are two workstations per function, which are occupied by at least one person.

1 Good preparation is everything – planning the grid operation

The planning in the grid control rooms is the key to ensuring secure grid operation. Whenever a line or a power plant is taken out of operation, the preparations for this measure start months or even years in advance. To make sure that the planned outages do not overload the grid elements, the operative planning operators use a model of the transmission grid to plan the forecast calculations. The planning is constantly refined and makes it possible to estimate the load on the grid and the international interconnection lines. Where necessary, the operators take and coordinate the necessary measures to protect the grid against overloading.

Operators in the grid control room
 

Operative planning from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.

2 Production and consumption under control – system balance and schedule management

For the transmission grid to work, the production and consumption of energy must always be in equilibrium. This equilibrium guarantees the secure and stable operation of the electricity grid at a constant frequency of 50 Hertz. The operators in the System Balance department work together with colleagues at international transmission system operators to ensure that this frequency is always maintained across the entire European interconnected grid. The preparations for a Swiss transmission grid that is as well-balanced as possible are made by the operators in the Schedule Management department.

Operators in the grid control room
 

System Balance 24-hour shift
Schedule Management from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

3 Smooth grid transmission – controlling the grid operation

Swissgrid is not just tasked with protecting the transmission grid against fluctuations but also with protecting it against high loads. If there is the risk of lines overloading or if a technical fault occurs, the operators intervene in the grid operation. For instance, they perform switching operations and coordinate the troubleshooting in cooperation with the facility managers on site. Operators also perform switching operations multiple times a day when scheduled work has to be carried out on a line or a transformer.

Operators in the grid control room
 

Control 24-hour shift

4 The right decision when a fault occurs – managing the grid operation

The system manager is responsible for the secure operation of the grid in real time, which the manager ensures by calculating the effects of possible switching operations on operational reliability. If a fault occurs or there is a risk of a grid overload, the system manager decides which measures need to be taken. This requires constant coordination with the grid control rooms in neighbouring countries. A high security of supply in Europe and Switzerland can be guaranteed only together with international colleagues.

Operators in the grid control room
 

System managers 24-hour shift

5 Nothing runs without these systems – IT support

The operators rely on numerous IT systems to perform their work. The IT expert is responsible for all systems required to operate the grid and is the first point of contact for the operators, taking immediate action whenever a fault occurs in the IT system.

In the grid control room
 

IT experts from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m and on call

Contact

Title

Please select a title.

Please enter your first name.

Please enter your last name.

Please enter a valid e-mail address.

Please enter your message.

Please click the checkbox.