We bring electricity from power plants to consumers through Axpo’s network of transmission and distribution grids. We maintain our own grid infrastructure in Switzerland and connect the transmission grid of Switzerland’s national grid company Swissgrid with the distribution grids of our utility customers.
length of Axpo's grid
supplied to customers
approximately needed for Axpo's grids
Axpo's grid infrastructure, with its supra-regional distribution grids, primarily covers high voltage. We supply electricity to the entire north-eastern region of Switzerland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and parts of the cantons of Schwyz, Zug, Grisons and Valais.
We believe that digital transformation and innovation are key to any modern energy supply. Axpo already uses digital technologies in our power grids, opening up new possibilities for intelligently meeting the growing demands of our energy future.
Axpo processes data digitally for the service and maintenance of our systems, uses drones to support aerial line inspections, and can analyse and visualise network data. New digital tools are used to quickly assess supply security and immediately initiate measures for network optimisation. Our priority is to provide a reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly electricity supply.
Axpo uses drones over our grid area to help maintain a reliable electricity network. They make it possible to efficiently inspect power masts and lines, which need to be in top condition for the safe and reliable delivery of electricity.
Electricity flows through the lines of a power grid like water through a pipe. And just as water is forced into a pipe by a pump, so a wind turbine or a gas-fired power plant, for example, generates a voltage that lets the current flow through the grid. More precisely, electrons, tiny electrically charged particles, move through the lines. Their journey to the socket takes the electrons along a lengthy and interconnected grid consisting of a supra-regional transmission network and regional and local distribution networks. Operating at different voltage levels, the transmission and distribution grids are connected with each other via transformer stations and substations.
Electricity is transmitted along overhead lines or underground cable. Axpo relies on a comprehensive weighing of interests against various criteria such as spatial development, cost-effectiveness, environmental compatibility and technology. As a general rule, the lower the voltage, the more frequent the wiring. As the voltage increases, so does the complexity of constructing and operating lines of cable. Axpo's 2,200-kilometre distribution network is 82 per cent overhead and 18 per cent underground. We are open to both technologies and use the one that makes the most sense on the basis of objective criteria.
Security of supply has a high priority for Axpo. This means ensuring that the desired amount of energy at the required quality is available at all times in the entire electricity grid at reasonable grid usage prices. To achieve this, electricity grids must be operated, monitored, maintained and, if necessary, expanded or renewed. Thanks to prudent investments in the grid infrastructure and the broad expertise of our employees, Axpo achieves high grid stability and reliability. And that's not all: we offer the best conditions in Switzerland for the use of our networks.
Axpo's grid control centre in Baden is the brain of Axpo's entire electricity network, ensuring its safe and efficient operation. Controlling and monitoring around the clock, 365 days a year, the centre is where all the data from dozens of power grids converges.
In striving to maintain a high level of supply security, we need to consider the growing demands of the energy future and the expansion of renewable energies, as well as social and economic developments. In response, Axpo is making sustainable investments in our grid and gradually increasing grid voltage from 50 to 110 kilovolts. This makes our power plants more efficient and reduces losses by 75 percent. As a result, both customers and the entire region can benefit from a modern, future-oriented and reliable energy supply.
Water, wind, sun and nuclear power can all generate electricity. It flows through our networks, is converted to the correct voltage and ultimately powers our radios, TVs, washing machines, cookers and a host of other appliances from an electric socket. Such, in simple terms, is the path of electricity.
Electricity grids bring electricity from the power station to the consumer. The route leads via the transmission and distribution grids. On the way to the socket, the electricity has to be converted to the required voltage. This takes place over several stages, so-called grid levels:
The national grid company Swissgrid operates Switzerland’s transmission grid and ensures the transportation of energy over long distances. Axpo plays an important intermediary role here: our distribution grids (110, 50 and 16 kilovolts) connect Swissgrid's transmission grid (220 and 380 kilovolts) to the distribution grids of Axpo partners - the cantonal and municipal utilities.