Voltage conversion in the Meiringen region

With the voltage conversion in the Meiringen region, BKW Power Grid is ensuring high-quality electricity distribution.

BKW increased the mains voltage in Meiringen, Hasliberg, Brienz, Axalp and Goldswil from 12 to the standard 16 kV. The voltage increase strengthened and stabilised the network. This means that greater demand for electricity can be met easily.

Our tasks

  • Upgrade and modify 180 transformers.
  • Various components of the network infrastructure, such as voltage converters, surge arresters and transmission line separators replaced.
  • Complete upgrade of the Brienz substation, include protection technology and diagnostics.
  • Modernisation of the Meiringen substation, including protection technology and diagnostics.
Peter Werren, BKW Project Manager
«The increase in voltage strengthened the network, which resulted in a more stable network and higher-quality electricity distribution.»
Peter Werren, Regional Manager for Brienzersee-Oberhasli

Facts & Figures



Construction type

Network and plant construction

Contruction style

Voltage conversion


Energy supplier

Carried work

180 transformers upgraded and modified, substations modernised and various network components replaced.

Project manager

Martin Hefti, Project Manager, distribution systems; Peter Werren, Regional Manager for Brienz-Oberhasli


BKW Power Grid

Construction cost

CHF 15.5 million

Project description

For historical reasons, the medium voltage network in the region of Meiringen, Hasliberg, Brienz, Axalp and Goldswil had an operating voltage of 12 kV. To simplify operations, BKW adjusted the voltage in this area to the surrounding networks of 16 kV. This ensures the network can meet higher household demand for electricity.

BKW updated and adjusted various infrastructure systems for the voltage conversion. For example, it completely updated the Brienz substation and added larger transformers to the substation in Meiringen. In addition, a total of 180 transformer stations were modified in close cooperation with distribution partners Brienz, Brienzwiler and Ringgenberg.

The voltage conversion was carried out in stages between 13 September and 12 October 2020. The work required power cuts at night for several hours in the affected areas. “Normal households didn’t notice the power cuts,” says Peter Werren, the regional manager for Brienzersee-Oberhasli.


Planning as a success factor

The planning and organisation carried out in advance were much more extensive than the actual work. These activities took two years. With the help of distribution partners Brienz and Brienzwiler as well as various system operators like the military, the Federal Roads Office and the central railway , BKW employees coordinated the work. The detailed planning and the team’s expertise ensured a seamless voltage conversion process.