Upgrade in Lower Austria


The Austrian transmission system operator (TSO) APG maintains its sustained efforts to make the Austrian transmission grid future-proof. The TSCNET shareholder is investing €30m to modernise and expand the Ternitz substation in Lower Austria’s Industrieviertel. A new 220/110 kV transformer is the centrepiece of the retrofitted facility.

The 245-tonne high-tech device was delivered to Ternitz on 16 April. The transformer was transported from the manufacturing site in Weiz in eastern Styria via train and for the last few kilometres by means of heavy-duty road transport. With the substation upgrade, TSCNET shareholder APG ensures fail-safe operation and long-term security of electricity supply in the Industrieviertel, Upper Styria and in the Styrian Mürz valley. The completion of all reconstruction and modernisation measures is scheduled for 2020.

> See APG press release, in German (html)

Picture: APG / Martin Wieland

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Transformer for Combined Grid Solution


At the Hollandia shipyard in Krimpen aan den IJssel in the Dutch province of South Holland, the next step has been taken for the Combined Grid Solution, the first Danish-German offshore connection in the Baltic Sea: A 450MVA transformer was placed on the Kriegers Flak Extension offshore platform. The interconnector is a joint venture by the two TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, one of the four German Transmission System Operators (TSOs), and Energinet, the Danish TSO.

By linking two offshore wind farms, the German Baltic 2 and the planned Danish Kriegers Flak, the Combined Grid Solution will integrate the electricity systems of both respective countries. The transformer is necessary to balance the different voltage levels of the Danish and German offshore wind farms. After the complete assembly of the transformer, the entire platform topside will be shipped to Kriegers Flak at the end of April. Here, it will be installed on the gravity foundation, which has been erected in February of this year on the floor of the Danish Baltic Sea.

> See 50Hertz press release (html)

Picture: Dieter Böhm / 50Hertz

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New transformer in Upper Austria


In order to secure the long-term security of electricity supply in the Western Mühlviertel in Upper Austria as well as to improve the supply situation in the greater Linz area, TSCNET shareholder APG, the Austrian transmission system operator (TSO), is upgrading its substation near the Jochenstein Danube hydropower plant on the Austro-German border. These modernisation measures include a new 220/110kV transformer.

In September 2017, the 280-tonne transformer was delivered by ship across the Danube to Jochenstein. After five months of assembling and extensive functional tests under high-voltage, the state-of-the-art device was finally connected to the grid at the end of March 2018. The commissioning marks the completion of all construction work at the substation, with which APG ensures that green electricity from the Jochenstein hydropower plant continues to be safely fed into the Austrian transmission system. In total, APG invested €10m in the supply security of the region.

> See APG press release, in German (html)
> See APG video with background information, in German (html)

Picture: APG / APA-Fotoservice / Hautzinger

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Delivery of West-Coast-Line transformers


The substation Heide-West in the most northern German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein is an important node of the “Westküstenleitung” (“West-Coast-Line”), which is planned and currently constructed by TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). This 380kV power line with a length of about 140km is one of TenneT’s numerous projects to transmit green electricity generated by wind farms in the German north to the main consumption centres in the west and south. The “West-Coast-Line” will also enhance transmission capacities between Denmark and Germany.

In the course of this week, two direct coupling transformers, the core elements of the substation, are to arrive at Heide-West. With a capacity of 300MVA each, they are capable of transforming electricity for around one million households. By connecting TenneT’s extra high-voltage grid to the 110kV grid of the local distributor, the transformers ensure the integration of wind power into the supra-regional transmission system. The transformers reached the port of Büsum by ship earlier this month, and since they both have a transport weight of 260t, they will be delivered individually in the period from 20 to 23 December by means of heavy-duty road transport.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: TenneT


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TenneT transformers ensure supply in northern Bavaria


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


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


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


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


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


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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