ABB wins $35 million substation upgrade order to strengthen southern German grid


Compact Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) technology to help increase capacity and reliability of power network.

ABB has won an order worth around $35 million from German transmission system operator TransnetBW to upgrade a substation in Offenburg, in the southwest German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Germany is implementing an energy transition plan, called “Energiewende”, which entails a renewable energy target of at least 80 percent by 2050, as the German power system moves from traditional, coal-fired generation towards a much heavier reliance on “clean” forms of energy. Assimilating increasing amounts of renewables into the grid calls for new flexibility and increased capacity of the transmission network and the voltage level of many power lines and substations is therefore being enhanced from 220 kilovolt (kV) to 380 kV.

The existing 220-kilovolt (kV) air-insulated switchgear (AIS) substation will be replaced by a compact 380 kV GIS substation, increasing transmission capacity and flexibility. The upgraded substation will be part of a transmission network that plays an important role in European power trading, since it is integrated into the national and European grid via numerous interconnectors.
As part of the order, ABB will design, supply and install a turnkey 380 kV indoor GIS system including the auxiliary equipment and also connect the substation to the 380 kV network and build a new terminal tower.

“The deployment of ABB’s latest compact, reliable and efficient GIS technology will boost capacity and help strengthen the German transmission system” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Grids division. “We are also pleased to continue our contribution to the German energy vision and support the transition to renewable forms of energy, a key focus area of ABB’s Next Level strategy.”
The compact indoor design of ABB’s GIS technology allows a space saving of up to 70 percent compared to conventional AIS. This compactness also makes extensions and retrofitting possible in confined space conditions which would not be possible with AIS technology. Furthermore, GIS technology increases supply reliability and availability while reducing maintenance requirements.

ABB is a world leader in air-insulated, gas-insulated and hybrid substations with voltage levels up to 1,200 kV. These substations facilitate the efficient and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity with minimum environmental impact, serving utility, industry and commercial customers as well as sectors like railways, urban transportation and renewables.

ABB is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.