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ABB wins $45 million order to strengthen German power grid

ABB has won an order worth around $45 million from German transmission system operator TransnetBW to upgrade a substation in Philippsburg, in the southwest German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The existing air-insulated switchgear (AIS) will be replaced by a compact 380 kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) within the project. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Germany is implementing an energy transition plan, called “Energiewende”, which entails a renewable energy target of at least 80 percent by 2050. The German power system is moving from traditional fossil fuel based energy generation to-wards a much heavier reliance on “clean” forms of energy like wind or photovoltaics. The feeding-in of increasing amounts of renewables into the grid calls for increased flexibility and capacity.

The first of the North-South connections based on High-Voltage Direct Current-transmission technology (HVDC technology) provided in the grid development plan connects Osterath in North Rhine-Westphalia with Philippsburg. This HVDC connection – a joint project of Amprion and TransnetBW – transports the electricity from renewable energy sources to the South. The connected 380 kV GIS then ensures a smooth feed-in of the "green power" into the transmission grid.

"The deployment of ABB’s latest compact, reliable and efficient GIS technology will help strengthen the German transmission system” said Patrick Fragman, head of ABB’s Grid Integration business, a part of the company’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.”

As part of the project, the existing outdoor switchgear will be replaced by a compact 380 kV GIS switchgear with a triple busbar. ABB is also responsible for the construction of secondary equipment and all auxiliary systems.

The compact indoor design of ABB’s GIS technology allows a space saving of up to 70 percent compared to the previously used AIS. The placement of the switchgear in the building protects against weather and pollution.


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