Line upgrade in the Engadin Valley

24.10.2017

A symbolic cut of the spade was the starting signal for the elimination of the bottleneck within the Swiss as well as the whole European transmission system, which is the power line in the Engadin Valley between Pradella and La Punt. To enhance the existing line with a length of 49 km, TSCNET shareholder Swissgrid, the Swiss transmission system operator (TSO), appends an additional 380kV circuit. Swissgrid also modernises the Pradella substation by substituting the old overhead station with a 380kV gas insulated substation.

The construction projects in Engadin are part of “Strategic Grid 2025”, Swissgrid’s demanding grid modernisation and expansion plan. They will increase grid stability and supply security in Switzerland. By providing capacities for the transmission of electricity from Grisons hydropower and by reinforcing interconnections to Italy and Austria, the building measures have beyond that a considerable European dimension. Preparatory works for the line upgrade started in the summer of 2017 and the commissioning of the expanded power line is expected in autumn of 2021. The new Pradella substation will probably be connected to the grid in 2020.

> See Swissgrid media release (html)

Picture: Swissgrid

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Substation Wolmirstedt officially commissioned

23.10.2017

The substation Wolmirstedt near Magdeburg, the capital of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, is the central network node in the western part of the control area of TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) and a shareholder of TSCNET Services. After several years of fundamental technical overhaul and expansion, the modernised substation has been officially put into operation by Prof. Claudia Dalbert, Saxony-Anhalt’s Minister for the Environment, Agriculture and Energy.

The modernisation had become necessary not only to ensure future supply security in the region of Magdeburg, but also to facilitate the integration of the renewables into the transmission system. Consequently, Dr Frank Golletz, Chief Technical Officer at 50Hertz, regards Wolmirstedt not only as “another milestone for the grid extension”, but also explains that 50Hertz has created “important preconditions to better integrate wind power from the north”.

> See 50Hertz press release, in German (html)

Picture: 50Hertz

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Construction start at Altlußheim substation

22.10.2017

With a symbolic turn of the sod, TSCNET shareholder TransnetBW, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), officially launched the modernisation of the electrical substation in Altlußheim near Speyer in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region in south-west Germany. The station will be equipped with a newly constructed 380kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substituting the existing 220kV open air switchgear.

The modernised substation also belongs to a series of further grid upgrade measures between the metropol regions of Frankfurt and Karlsruhe. Altlußheim is one of the grid connection points which all are to be upgraded to 380kV in order to meet the future demands for electricity transmission. Either way, it is intended to ensure supply security not only in its local region but also on a supra-regional level.

“Altlußheim will be the first of the respective facilities to be fit for the requirements of the energy transition,” explained Dr. Werner Götz, chairman of the TransnetBW executive board, in the course of the ceremony. The substation modernisation is a challenging task for TransnetBW, since during the construction of the new GIS the old switchgear will simultaneously be in uninterrupted operation. Based on current planning, the GIS is expected to be put into service by 2020.

> See TransnetBW press release, in German (html)

Picture: TransnetBW

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Swissgrid installations at Romanel in operation

21.10.2017

After six years of construction works and a total dismantling of the old 220kV overhead station, Swissgrid, the Swiss transmission system operator (TSO) and a shareholder of TSCNET Services, has commisioned new facilities at the electrical substation Romanel on 6 October. Those comprise of a new 380/220kV transformer and a 380kV gas-insulated substation (GIS). A further 220kV GIS had been put into service already in 2015.

The modernisation of the substation at Romanel-sur-Lausanne near Lake Geneva is an integral part of Swissgrid’s ambitious grid modernisation and expansion plan, the “Strategic Grid 2025”. It is also of the highest importance for the supply security throughout the Romandy. The connection of the 380kV transmission line from Bois-Tollot to Chamoson to the new facilities additionally improves the regional grid stability.

Since one of Swissgrid’s partner companies at Romanel, Services Industriels de Lausanne, is presently still completing the construction of a new building for further installations (a 125kV GIS, two 220/125kV transformers, two 125 kV/MT transformers and a medium voltage substation), the Romanel substation is not fully operational yet.

> See Swissgrid news release (html)

Picture: Screenshot taken from video “Montage du GIS 380kV de Romanel” (Kummler+Matter, Youtube)

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APG modernises two substations

08.09.2017

To ensure future security of electricity supply in the north as well as in the south of its control area, TSC member APG, the Austrian transmission system operator (TSO), sustainably invests in the modernisation of two electrical substations: Ernsthofen in Lower Austria in the greater area of Linz and Steyr, and Obersielach in the southernmost Austrian state of Carinthia.

Despite the common purpose of both modernisation measures – to adapt the two facilities to the future requirements of the Austrian transmission system – the necessary actions quite differ from each other. In Ernsthofen, the 110kV switchgear, being more than 70 years old, will be dismanteled and substituted by a new construction. The core of the new facility is a gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) of the highest technical standards. With the current reconstructions in Ernsthofen, APG resumes the first renovation phase from 2010 to 2011. All in all, the Austrian TSO will invest about €50m in the next five years.

The APG substation in Obersielach will be equipped with an additional 380/220kV transformer. Due to its heavy weight and large size, the transformer is being delivered in three parts by means of heavy-duty transport. The first part already reached Obersielach in early September, the other parts are expected on 18 and 25 September respectively. The commissioning of the high-end device in all its three parts is scheduled for the spring of 2018. With an output of 550MVA, the transformer has the capacity to supply nearly the whole of Carinthia with electricity. Yet, the installation of the transformer is only the start of a comprehensive renewal of the Obersielach substation, in the course of which APG invests round €38m until 2019.

> See APG press release Ernsthofen, in German (html)
> See APG press release Obersielach, in German (html)

Picture: APG

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TransnetBW inaugurates substation Stalldorf

25.08.2017

Another milestone in the implementation of the Energiewende in the south-west of Germany: TSC member TransnetBW, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), today has opened the new transformer station in Stalldorf in the north-west of Bavaria at the border to the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. The region reports a strong increase in renewable energies fed into the 110kV grid of Netze BW, the regional distribution system operator. With the new substation, superfluous renewable electricity can be transported to consumption centres by TransnetBW’s 380kV transmission grid. Vice versa, wind power from the north of Germany can be transferred to Stalldorf and fed into the region’s distribution grid.

> Open TransnetBW project profile, in German (pdf, 1.2mb)

Picture: TransnetBW

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Grid extension in northern Switzerland

28.03.2017

Although the grid situation in Switzerland is stable and the supply security is at no concrete risk, the grid operation in the alpine winter is usually strained and challenging for TSC member Swissgrid, the Swiss transmission system operator (TSO). This was especially true of the severe winter of 2015/16 and is one more reason for Swissgrid to accelerate the grid extension in Switzerland according to “Strategic Grid 2025”, the TSO’s ambitious grid modernisation and expansion plan.

An important part of “Strategic Grid 2025” is the upgrade of the electrical substation Beznau in the Swiss Canton of Aargau including a new 380/220 kV transformer. After the Swiss Federal Inspectorate for Heavy Current Installations (“Eidgenössisches Starkstrominspektorat”, ESTI) had approved Swissgrid’s upgrading plans in July 2016, the preparatory work in Beznau started immediately. In November 2016 and January 2017 the transformer was delivered to Beznau in three segments via heavy-duty transport. After some test runs the new transformer has now been put into operation.

The new device – situated on an island in the middle of the river Aare in Beznau and operated by Axpo Power AG – is not intended for operating constantly but as a backup for critical grid situations. Hence it is designed to be activated by Swissgrid on short notice. The transformer supports import capacity in the northern Swiss border region and improves the supply security in metropolitan area of Zurich.

> See Swissgrid press release (html)

Picture: Swissgrid

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New substation near Budapest

17.11.2016

On 14 November 2016, the Hungarian transmission system operator (TSO) and TSC member MAVIR has formally put the newly built electrical substation Kerepes in the north-east of Budapest into operation.

The Kerepes substation is constructed on the 400kV/120kV level, with the possibility for a future 220kV extension. It is playing a key role in ensuring electricity supply in the Budapest metropolitan area and the Gödöllő region. Within the scope of the national Hungarian Network Development Plan, the substation was implemented by MAVIR in cooperation with the MVM OVIT National Power Line Company Ltd. and MVM ERBE Power Engineering and Consulting Ltd. The budget of the project amounts to a total of about HUF 7.7bn (nearly €25m).

MAVIR’s Chief Executive Officer, Kamilla Csomai, appraises the Kerepes substation as significant contribution to the regional and national supply security. Furthermore, Csomai considers the new substation an important part of the TSO’s continuing long-term transmission network development.

> See MAVIR press release (html)

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Mavir substation Kerepes

Pictures: Mavir

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New substation in eastern Germany

17.08.2016

To connect a large number of new wind farms in eastern Saxony-Anhalt, Germany to the 380kV transmission grid, a new substation in Jessen Nord was set to work yesterday. During the last three years, the 39m project has been jointly built by TSCmember 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) and MITNETZ STROM, a regional distribution system operator (DSO). The new substation is characterised by making optimal use of the existing infrastructure and reducing the impact on nature and the landscape.

> See 50Hertz press release, in German (html)

Picture: 50Hertz / MITNETZ STROM

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High-performance choke for Leupolz

28.07.2016

The electrical substation Leupolz near Kempten in the south-west of the German state of Bavaria is designated for connecting the extra-high voltage grid of TSC member Amprion, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), to the 110kV grid of local distribution system operator LEW Verteilnetz (LVN). There is a great need of upgrading the station in order to manage the feeding-in of electricity from renewable sources whose volume is increasing due to the energy transition in Germany.

A specially designed choke weighing approximately 220 tons is set to arrive in Leupolz on 1 August 2016. The oversize load is going to be handled via special road transport for the last kilometres. After its installation the choke will regulate the voltage and ensure grid stability even in cases of high energy input.

> See Amprion press release, in German (html)

Picture: Leupolz substation (Amprion)
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