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Austrian grid to invest Eur2.5 billion amid RES boom

London — Austrian power grid operator APG plans to invest Eur2.5 billion over the next 10 years to future-proof its network against a massive expansion of wind and solar, it said.

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The program will kick off with the construction of the 380 kV Salzburg line linking pumped storage facilities in the western Alps to wind-rich regions on the Eastern borders.

Construction of the Eur800 million ($905 million) line is to start in Q4 2019 and could last four years, APG said.

The link should help boost cross-border transmission capacity on the planned new interconnector upgrade to Germany (St. Peter to Ulm/Isar), currently under construction.

The TSO flagged two other major projects in the Linz industrial region and on Austria's Eastern border to help integrate growing wind and solar capacity.

The system operator forecasts 12 GW solar and 9 GW wind by 2030 from current levels of 1 GW solar and 3 GW wind, it said in a presentation.

Last year Austrian energy regulator E-Control flagged a potential power supply gap of 2.5 GW by 2030 should thermal plants close amid expansion in renewables.

Hydro power meets almost two-thirds of Austria's power demand, while electricity imports from Germany and the Czech Republic play an important supporting role.

-- Andreas Franke,

-- Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter,