ATES Vienna-Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage Vienna

The ATES Vienna project addresses the integration of aquifer thermal energy storages into district heating networks with the aim of designing the first pilot ATES project in Austria. In addition, an identification and characterisation of existing resources, their economic evaluation and the development of adequate regulatory framework conditions will be carried out.


Decarbonisation of the district heating system (part of heating sector) is an important and challenging cornerstone of the energy transition. It drives the need for renewable heat generation with all its underlying conditions (temperature levels, balancing of supply and demand, etc.). As a result, large-scale, long-term storage systems will be needed to fulfil the heat demand in heating seasons. Until now, the district heating sector in the urban area has depended heavily on fossil fuels.

In the framework of the earlier studies like GeoTief BASE and EXPLORE as well as GeoTief Speicher, basic geoscientific exploration data has been assessed for the greater area of Vienna. This now needs to be processed and analysed towards the identification of aquifer storages.


The first step is a brief definition of a criteria catalogue for future long-term aquifer heat storages in district heating systems. The criteria will be defined based on various information derived from underground (geological) and subsurface (technical integration and economical operation) perspective. The second step begins based on the determined catalogue and includes the following 3 steps: Resources assessment, Technical concepts (utilization and integration in energy system) and Economic/environmental assessment. The outcome will include the overall results of the project with consideration of the relevant stakeholders and the legal and social framework conditions for a system-based integration of such a technology in an increasingly decarbonized energy system.


ATES Vienna aims to develop high-temperature (>40°C) and large capacity (>10GWh) deep underground aquifer thermal storage (ATES) systems, including integration options for the Austrian district heating sector. The project will address the identification and characterisation of available aquifer resources, and provide assessment tools to estimate their suitability for ATES applications. Based on this analysis, a detailed technical concept for the first pilot ATES in the Vienna area will be developed, considering the utilization of existing hydrocarbon wells and new drilled wells. The feasibility study will be completed by a holistic socio-economic and regulatory impact analysis. ATES Vienna will therefore support the development of a roadmap for the future implementation of ATES technologies in Austria in line with the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) 2021-2030.



  1. Kick-Off meeting accomplished
  2. Project closure meetings accomplished
  3. All reporting obligations to the funding agencies accomplished
  4. All evaluation criteria defined
  5. Resource maps ready for publishing
  6. Approval of technical concepts by project team in a dedicated workshop
  7. Energy price scenarios and heat generation portfolios defined
  8. Optimal scenarios for utilization of ATES are characterised
  9. All planned communication activities achieved

"The complete decarbonization of district heating can be achieved, among others, with the integration of seasonal heat storage systems, so that the surplus heat from the summer months is available for the cold seasons."

- ZITAT Dr. Rusbeh Rezania -


Analysis of seasonal ATES systems (capacity > 10 GWh, temperature > 40 °C) from a geological, technical and economic perspective, including an evaluation of the integration options into district heating networks (with a focus on Vienna and Austria).
Development of a detailed concept for a future pilot ATES in Vienna; based on the utilization of existing hydrocarbon wells and/or new wells to be drilled.
Evaluation of the socio-economic and regulatory framework conditions for future ATES applications in Vienna/Austria and an assessment of the contribution of this technology in order to achieve the Austrian climate targets.





Wien Energie


Projectpartner (P1):
AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC) (
Projectpartner (P2):
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (
Projectpartner (P3):
Geological Survey of Austria (GBA) (
Projectpartner (P4):
Geo5 (
Projectpartner (P5):
Heinemann Oil GmbH (HOL) (


ATES, Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage, District heating system, seasonal storage, economical environmental assessment,


Dr. Rusbeh Rezania,


01/04/2021 - 31/03/2024