New site for Swissgrid

Swissgrid will merge the two current sites Laufenburg and Frick in the new central location in Aarau.

Why is Swissgrid moving its site?

Swissgrid, the national grid company, operates the Swiss transmission grid. As the owner it is responsible for its maintenance, renewal and expansion. To improve internal cooperation and make processes as efficient as possible, Swissgrid has decided to consolidate its two sites at Laufenburg and Frick. This will also solve the lack of space that has become a problem at the current locations.

What were the criteria behind the choice of location?

Swissgrid carried out a detailed feasibility study of several potential sites within and outside the canton of Aargau. A key criterion for the choice of location was its accessibility from all parts of the country, since, as the national grid company, Swissgrid is active throughout Switzerland. Furthermore, the new location should help make it easier to recruit specialists and still remain easy for existing employees to reach.

Did Swissgrid also examine sites in the Fricktal region?

Sites in Fricktal were also subjected to a feasibility study. Among the locations assessed, the former Electrolux site in Aarau turned out to be the best. Swissgrid is easily accessible from all parts of the country here, especially by public transport. The Electrolux site in Aarau, which is very close to the train station, meets all the conditions required for the location of the head office of the national grid company.

Who owns the Electrolux site?

The Credit Suisse Investment Foundation purchased the Electrolux site in 2011 with the aim of redeveloping it.

Will the grid control room be moved to Aarau?

The grid control room is where the core tasks of Swissgrid are carried out: the monitoring and control of the Swiss transmission grid. These activities are in part closely linked to other significant tasks for which Swissgrid is responsible. The Asset Management division and the grid control room will therefore work intensively together in the future on the maintenance of the transmission grid as well as other issues. Other existing tasks such as procurement and the deployment of ancillary services also require staff to be close to one another. Swissgrid has therefore decided to also relocate the grid control room to Aarau.

When was the grid control room in Laufenburg put into operation?

The grid control centre in Laufenburg dates back to 1958 when Switzerland, Germany and France first interconnected their high-voltage networks. It was moved to a new building in 1991. However, Swissgrid’s new responsibilities meant that the control centre needed to be redesigned. It was therefore renovated and reequipped in the period from the autumn of 2008 until the end of 2009. The technical infrastructure will continue to be used at the future location in Aarau, as long as the technology is still up to date.

What will happen to the present location and the infrastructure in Laufenburg?

The owner of the building in Laufenburg is Axpo Power AG. They will decide how the location is to be used in future. After the takeover of the Swiss transmission grid as of 2013, the grid system in Laufenburg has passed to Swissgrid.

What will happen to the switching substation when the grid control room is moved?

Swissgrid will replace the switch gear cubicle in the coming years. This means that considerably less land will be required for the switching substation in future, which will significantly improve the landscape.

How are the cooperation and discussions with the affected municipalities taking place?

Swissgrid has been in contact with the affected municipalities in Fricktal since the start of the location evaluation and is providing ongoing information about the project status and further course of action.

How is Swissgrid taking into account the concerns of the municipalities and population?

Swissgrid understands the concerns of the municipalities. It is willing to support the municipalities in the search for new usage options for the Laufenburg site. Swissgrid is also planning to invite the population in Fricktal to the company's offices to provide information about its tasks, challenges and the planned change of location.