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A strong, efficient grid is fundamental for a secure electricity supply. But in particular, the demand on distribution grids is increasing. Decentralised energy producers, electromobility and the digitalisation of society - all these and other factors are challenging the distribution grid and highlight its key role in the energy transition. Axpo employees work around the clock to ensure security of supply. They maintain and optimise the supply grid efficiently, reliably and cost-effectively.

Our grid systems


Electricity grids are the lifelines of modern society. With its 2,200 kilometres of grids, Axpo supplies electricity to the whole of north-eastern Switzerland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and parts of the cantons of Schwyz, Zug, Graubünden and Valais. The area with three million inhabitants and a prospering economy covers a third of Switzerland. Up to 3200 MW of power is supplied to customers.


Our grids transport electricity from the power plant to the consumer. The route leads via the transmission and distribution grids (grid levels 1 to 7). With its supra-regional distribution grids, Axpo's grid infrastructure primarily covers high voltage (110, 50 and 16 kilovolts). On the one hand, Axpo's own distribution grids are connected to the transmission grid of the national grid company Swissgrid (220 and 380 kilovolts), but at the other end they are also connected to the distribution grids of customers, i.e. cantonal and regional electricity companies such as Elektrizitätswerke des Kantons Zürich (EKZ).

Power lines: above and below ground

Electricity is transmitted via overhead lines (above ground) or underground cables (underground). Axpo bases the conversion of its distribution grid on a comprehensive weighing of interests with regard to various criteria such as spatial development, economic efficiency, environmental compatibility and technology. As a general rule, the lower the voltage, the more frequently cables are installed. The higher the voltage, the more complex the construction and operation of cable lines becomes. Axpo's distribution grid, which is around 2200 kilometres long, consists of 82 percent overhead lines and 18 percent cable lines. Axpo is open to both technologies and uses the one that makes the most sense based on objective criteria.

More information on the journey of electricity and Swissgrid

Safe and efficient - around the clock

Security of supply is a high priority for Axpo. This means ensuring that the desired quantity of energy is available at all times in the required quality throughout the entire electricity grid at reasonable grid utilisation prices. To achieve this, electricity grids must be operated, monitored, maintained and, if necessary, expanded or modernised. Thanks to prudent investments in the grid infrastructure and the broad expertise of its employees, Axpo achieves a high level of grid stability and reliability. And that's not all: Axpo offers the best conditions in Switzerland for the use of its grids. 

The operation of Axpo's grids is ensured by the Energy and Grid Control Centre in Baden. The Energy and Grid Control Centre is the brain of Axpo's entire electricity grid. It controls and monitors the grid and the power plants around the clock, 365 days a year. This is where all the information from dozens of power plants and transmission grids comes together. Around 60,000 messages and 25,000 measured values are processed online and visualised on around 3,000 images for the operators.

Increase in electricity output

Axpo endeavours to maintain security of supply at a high level. At the same time, the growing demands of the energy future must be taken into account with the expansion of renewable energies and developments in society and the economy. Axpo is investing sustainably in its grid and is gradually increasing the voltage in the grid from 50 to 110 kilovolts. This will make the power plants more efficient and reduce losses by 75 per cent. Customers and the entire region will thus benefit from a modern, future-orientated and reliable energy supply.

Digital transformation and innovation

The digital transformation and innovation are an important basis for a modern energy supply. This opens up new possibilities for intelligently meeting the high demands of the energy future. Axpo is already using digital technologies in its power grids. While data is digitally processed for the service and maintenance of systems and a drone supports aerial line inspections, an extensive cockpit helps to analyse and visualise network data. New digital tools can also be used today to quickly assess supply security and immediately initiate measures for network optimisation. Digitalisation, however, goes a step further for the future. Information flows between network operators and manufacturers and between electricity suppliers and consumers will be automated, processes simplified and resources used more efficiently. Whatever the digital future of grid installations may look like, Axpo's top priority continues to be a reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly electricity supply. 

Find more information on the digital transformation of Axpo's network infrastructures here.

Drones for the grid

They buzz overhead and sometimes distrub the relaxing coffee break on the terrace: Drones are widely used today. At Axpo, they make sense in the grid area to maintain a reliable electricity network. Drones make it possible to efficiently inspect approx. 8000 power masts and our lines, which are around 2200 kilometres long. Their impeccable condition is a prerequisite for the safe and reliable transport of electricity.

To date, only overhead linesmen have regularly monitored the condition of masts and conductor cables. Now they get support from the air. With the drone, system inspections can also be carried out when lines are switched on, which increases the availability and saves costs. UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) can also take high-resolution photos from optimum viewing angles - even in hard to access locations. The photos help to assess any damage and to define repair measures. 

And by the way: Drones are also available to other companies as a service. Read more here.

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More information

Magazine articles

No electricity supply security without a powerful grid

Grids: why the voltage conversion from 50 to 110 kV is crucial

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Certified protection of power grids against cyber attacks

ISO certificate for process informatics of Axpo Grid AG

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Conversion of overhead line Eglisau-Wilchingen

Pylon number 63 is being replaced

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