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Swissgrid at a glance

We transport electricity. Essential for Switzerland. Indispensable for Europe. A driving force that provides quality of life for millions of people. Today and tomorrow.

locations

grid transfers

switching substations

grid length
(in km)

electricity pylons

Swissgrid is the national grid company. As the owner of Switzerland’s extra-high-voltage grid, it is responsible for the safe operation of the grid without discrimination, and for maintaining, modernising and expanding the grid efficiently and with respect for the environment. Read more

Swissgrid employs over 440 highly qualified people from 22 countries at its sites in Frick, Laufenburg, Uznach, Landquart, Ostermundigen, Prilly and Castione. As a member of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), it is also responsible for grid planning, system management and market design in the cross-border exchange of electricity in Europe.

Swissgrid's entire share capital is jointly held by numerous Swiss electricity companies. Read less

Financial information (in millions of CHF)*

Total operating income

782.0

Cost of procurement

295.2

Operating expenses incl. depreciation and impairment losses

333.4

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)

153.4

Net income

88.0

Total assets**

2955.3

Free cash flow

241.7

* Swiss GAAP FER numbers
** Excluding balance sheet items held on a fiduciary basis


Well-prepared for the energy future

Adrian Bult, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Yves Zumwald, CEO (left)

Dear Readers,
A good ten years after founding Swissgrid, we can report that the national grid company has changed significantly and is now in a solid position to overcome the challenges faced as a result of the energy reform. Initially only responsible for operating the transmission grid, Swissgrid has since taken over almost all systems and secured their refinancing. View all

Pierre-Alain Graf, who, as CEO, was responsible for the takeover of the grids and the company’s realignment, left the company at his own request in September. Under his leadership, Swissgrid laid the foundation for successful development and achieved substantial cost savings. Yves Zumwald, Head of Grid Operations and member of the Executive Board, has initially been appointed CEO ad interim until a decision is made on a successor. 

Swissgrid continued its commitment to higher efficiency in 2015. The consolidation measures introduced promise annual cost reductions in the tens of millions of francs by 2018. These savings are necessary, as the investments and capital costs to upgrade the grid will rise in the future.

High security of supply despite increasing demands

In February, Swissgrid celebrated the inauguration of the second control centre in Prilly, near Lausanne. In future, two locations will be able to coordinate electricity transport in Switzerland independently or in tandem. This makes an important contribution to an even more secure supply of electricity.

The growing share of renewable energies is a great challenge for operators in the control centres. Swissgrid therefore continued to invest in their ongoing education in 2015. In future, our new Training & Simulation Centre, the only one of its kind in Switzerland, will offer drills for management staff of grid control rooms and power plants. Swissgrid has also worked together with the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg to develop a professional training course for system operators.

As shown by assessments performed by the European Network of Transmission System Operators, Swissgrid’s investments in grid operations management are paying off. In 2015, Switzerland once again achieved the best control quality in Europe. At the same time, the secure operation of the grid during special events remained one of the greatest challenges.

The solar eclipse in March led to significant oscillations in electricity generation. However, thanks to the extensive precautions taken in the European Network, supply was not interrupted. In autumn, it became clear that Switzerland would be faced with a strained energy and grid situation for the winter due to low energy reserves. We communicated our forecasts transparently and searched for solutions with our partners. The measures implemented in cooperation with the energy sector in Switzerland and the European transmission grid operators, as well as the relatively mild temperatures, contributed significantly to easing the situation.

Necessary grid upgrade

After extensive preparations, Swissgrid presented the “Strategic Grid 2025” report to the general public in the spring of 2025. This plan specifies the grid expansion projects that are necessary in order to guarantee security of supply in the long term. Overall, we expect to invest around 2.5 billion francs over the next ten years.

Swissgrid continued to upgrade its grid with line projects in Aargau, Valais and Ticino. The construction of the line to the Nant de Drance power plant and the new Laufenburg substation started in 2015. The grid connection for the Limmern power plant and the Winkeln outdoor switching substation also commenced operation.

Swissgrid has intensified its efforts to communicate with citizens affected by construction projects. We provided transparent information at numerous meetings, information events, topping-out ceremonies and trade fairs. However, time delays in the approval and tender phase of grid construction projects remain a hurdle that must be overcome in the interests of the urgently required renovation of the infrastructure.

Progressive change in the power market

Mid-December marked the start of the consultation process for a new design for the Swiss and European power markets, which Swissgrid developed together with its partners. This active participation has ensured that our national interests are reflected in the design of a changing market.

Swissgrid was also represented in additional committees, such as in the Board of Directors of the Holding des Gestionnaires de Réseau de Transport d'Electricité (HGRT) and of the European power exchange EPEX SPOT. Together with other transmission grid operators from Central and Western Europe, this has allowed us to make a contribution to ensuring the balance between the power market and security of supply.

In 2015, existing partnerships with the German, Austrian and Dutch transmission grid operators were merged.The result is the largest uniform ancillary service market in Europe. This promises additional cost reductions in the procurement of such services in the medium term.

Focus on security and efficiency

To guarantee security of supply and increase flexibility and efficiency, Swissgrid needs to increasingly automate its operations. For this reason, the company is working intensively on the introduction of a modern control system. This will provide central control for the grid operation and the country’s 140 switching substations. At the same time, Swissgrid is developing its safety management, especially personnel and occupational safety and system protection.

The successful achievement of the past year would not have been possible without the valuable commitment of our employees and partners. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board, we would like to extend our thanks to everyone whose daily dedication and commitment helped us achieve our goals. Show less

Adrian Bult
Chairman of the Board of Directors

Yves Zumwald
CEO


Ownership structure

Situation on 31 December 2015, percentage figures have been rounded.


CRF: Success as a challenge

CRF applications

Registered projects

CRF facilities in operation

Electricity generated by CRF facilities (GWh)

Outside its core business, Swissgrid handles the applications for cost-covering remuneration for feed-in (CRF) on behalf of the government. The CRF was introduced in May 2008 and finances the construction of new systems that generate electricity from renewable energies. The current aim remains to increase this electricity generation in Switzerland by at least 5,400 GWh by 2030. Read more

Demand for the financing of renewable electricity production remains high. CRF applications rose by 17% against the previous year to 13,658. However, the one-off payment for small photovoltaic plants now also has to be taken into account. By the end of the year, 9,880 facility owners had already received this one-off investment assistance.

However, the limitation of CRF funds (capping) is having an increasingly noticeable impact. The maximum available funds are committed so only a few facilities were able to be included in the CRF.

The new Energy Act intends to introduce a range of improvements and new funding elements. Funding will be aligned more closely to the market and processes will be simplified. Swissgrid's implementation tasks are also expected to be outsourced to a separate subsidiary. Read less


Further strengthening of the equity base

Equity* (millions of CHF)
Total assets**

* At 31.12.2013, incl. 30% of the conditional purchase consideration
** Excluding balance sheet items held on a fiduciary basis and netted volume- and tariff-related timing differences


Operating costs reduced

Operating costs (millions of CHF)


Additional increase in electricity
imported and exported

Import (GWh)
Export (GWh)
Energy transported (GWh)