TenneT transformers ensure supply in northern Bavaria

23.06.2017

The electrical substation Bergrheinfeld West of TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), in the north of the German federal state of Bavaria is yet under construction but will be one of the most modern facilities of its kind in Germany. In order to maintain the regional supply security also after the shutdown of nuclear and other large power plants, TenneT considers the new substation – near the former nuclear plant in Grafenrheinfeld – to be essential. The TSO invests about €100m in the new facility.

In the night from 22 to 23 June, the first of two direct coupling transformers built by GE Grid Solutions was delivered to Bergrheinfeld via heavy-duty road transport. Prior to that, the unit had been moved from its production site in Mönchengladbach by ship over the rivers of Rhine and Main to the harbour of Garstadt.  On the last few kilometres, a 72-metre-long vehicle-train with 32 axles, a special trailer, and a total weight of 526t carried the high technology device. Since the transformer was shipped without add-on parts and insulating oil, its transport weight amounted to 260t, which is significantly lower than the subsequent operating weight of about 370t.

The direct coupling transformers will connect TenneT’s supra-regional 380kV transmission grid to the regional 110kV grids and thus constitute the core component of the substation. With a transmission capacity of 300MVA, the devices can provide electricity for around one million households. While the preparation for the commissioning of the first transformer will take about three months, the second one is expected to be delivered in February 2018. The completion of the whole substation Bergrheinfeld West, including a rotating phase shifter with generator transformer and compensating coils, which both are already on-site, is scheduled for 2019.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: Screenshot taken from video “Umspannwerk bei Bergrheinfeld. 260 Tonnen-Trafo wurde verladen” (Bayerischer Rundfunk)

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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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Modernisation of Pleinting substation

16.02.2017

Currently, TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), modernises several of its substations. In doing so, the TSO improves the coupling of regional electricity grids to TenneT’s trans-regional transmission system and pursues three main targets: Meeting the challenges of the energy transition, ensuring grid stability, and enhancing the supply security.

One of those upgrade projects is the substation Pleinting in Lower Bavaria, near Passau and close to the Austrian-German border. The Pleinting substation is of significance for the cross-border electricity exchange, in particular for the linking of Austrian pump storage power plants to the German grid. For this reason, also the overhead power line from Pleinting to the Austrian substation St. Peter am Hart is presently being overhauled. These reconstruction works will probably be finished by April, while the modernisation of the substation is scheduled to last til 2020.

Since transformers are the centrepiece of any substation, the upgrade of Pleinting involves a complete new set of such devices. Today a direct coupling transformer weighing 260t is arriving at Pleinting by means of heavy-duty transport. The assembly of the new machine built by GE Grid Solutions will take up to three month and two more transformers are expected to be delivered until 2018.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: TenneT

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Heavyweight transformers for Amprion and TenneT

02.02.2017

Two of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), TSC members Amprion and TenneT, are confronted with heavy traffic – in the literal sense of the word: Two newly built transformers are being delivered via heavy-duty transport to electrical substations operated by the two TSOs.

At 2.15 in the morning of 2 February 2017, a transformer weighing 400t arrived at Amprion’s substation in Sechtem near the former German capital Bonn. The day before, the 600MVA transformer produced by Alstom had reached the nearby railway station Roisdorf on a special railway car. The few final transportation kilometres on the road were the most challenging, since the road train with its heavy-duty trailers had a total length of more than 65m. In addition, a bridge had to be passed, the load carrying capacity of which was by no means secured. Thankfully, the transport went smoothly and took only a little more than four hours, just as planned. Gerd J. Pröpper, transport manager at Amprion, especially appreciated the good cooperation with the police and the authorities.

What Amprion already has successfully achieved, is yet to be carried out by TenneT: In the night between 4 and 5 February, TenneT’s new transformer will be transported from the seaport in Emden to the substation Emden/Ost in the northwest of Germany. The device built by the Dutch company Smit has a total weight of 235t. It had run into Emden port by ship on 31 January and is subsequently being prepared for its road trip with a length of about 6 km. The substation Emden/Ost – in combination with the correlative converter station – is part of the BorWin3 project, one of TenneT’s twelve offshore grid connection projects which are of significant importance for the success of the energy transition. The delivery of the transformers for the Emden/Ost converter station is scheduled for spring 2017.

> See Amprion webpage “Transformers”, in German (html)
> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture on the right: Alstom Deutschland AG
Pictures below: Amprion

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Logistical masterpiece in Frankonia

06.05.2015

This night, a house-sized, 260-tonne power transformer (490 tonnes including the low-loader vehicle) was delivered to the substation Würgau operated by TenneT, one of the German transmission system operators (TSOs). The transformer was built by Siemens in Nuremberg, around 80 km away from Würgau in the north of Bavaria, Germany. The trailer carrying the transformer from the railway station in Bamberg for the final 22-kilometre trip by road is about 54 metres long and travels at about 15 kilometres an hour. What a sight at night!

> See TenneT press release (html, in German)

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Heavy haulage in Hungary

13.04.2015

Today, a large transformer produced by ABB in Poland arrived at the Martonvásár substation of MAVIR Hungarian Independent Transmission Operator Company by use of special transport facilities. The heavy freight weighed about 150 tonnes and measured more than eight metres in lenght. Bon voyage!

> See MAVIR press release (html)

Graphic using press picture of MAVIR

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