Germany: SPIE installs medium-voltage substation for Bodensee-Wasserversorgung

Published on 11 January 2023

Überlingen, 11 January 2023 SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, is responsible for installing a new medium-voltage load-centre substation for its customer Bodensee-Wasserversorgung, a water supply association. The 6 kV medium-voltage substation is being erected on the site of the Sipplinger Berg waterworks in Überlingen on Lake Constance and will be used to supply the facility with renewable energy and achieve its self-sufficiency. The work began in spring 2022 and is expected to be completed in autumn 2023. In October 2022, SPIE was also charged with replacing 25 protection devices to ensure grid stability within the customer's existing facility.

Comprehensive range of services

SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa is setting up the entire medium-voltage substation, which will be used to feed in solar energy from an existing photovoltaic system at the waterworks, while the site is fully operational. The SPIE team, from the switchgear engineering business unit at the High Voltage operational division, is installing the new medium-voltage substation in a central location on the Sipplinger Berg waterworks site. In addition to the installation of the medium-voltage facility and the transformers, the work will involve some complex engineering. To ensure grid stability, the multi-technical service provider is implementing networks and controllers for 15 universal protection devices, two differential protection devices and decentralised busbar protection.

SPIE is also upgrading the existing facility, including suitable protection equipment and the decentralised busbar protection. The SPIE team will also be bringing the secondary equipment in the existing facility, with 50 arrays, up to the current state of the art by replacing 25 protection devices. That will ensure that the water pumps receive a reliable supply of electricity and can continue to operate long into the future.

Pooling expertise

For more than 60 years, the Sipplinger Berg waterworks has supplied four million people in Baden-Württemberg with drinking water sourced from Lake Constance. "To ensure that the site can continue to maintain a reliable supply of drinking water for decades to come, our customer intends to expand its facilities. For that, it requires more energy, which is why it is upgrading the solar installation that it already operates on its premises as a means of generating its own electricity. The medium-voltage substation that we are installing will convert solar power into usable energy and, in doing so, help to protect the climate," explains Christoph Pichlmeier from the sales team for the High Voltage operational division at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa. Alongside High Voltage, the Information & Communication Services (ICS) operational division is also contributing its expertise to help make the project a success. The team of experts from ICS is fitting network cabinets and fibre-optic cable splices to enable messages and signals from all medium-voltage arrays to be communicated directly to the customer's control system. By pooling their expertise, the SPIE teams are ensuring that the complex project will be delivered with high-quality results – very much in keeping with the spirit of ONE SPIE.

Decades of experience

The multi-technical service provider had managed to win Bodensee-Wasserversorgung over back in the tender stage. "We're delighted to have secured the order and to have gained the customer's confidence. Our decades of experience and exceptional specialist expertise in medium-voltage applications meant that we set ourselves apart from the competition during the tender process," says Anton Pritscher, site manager for Ergolding at the switchgear engineering business unit of the High Voltage operational division at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa. "The excellent quality of our design work and our stringent occupational health and safety standards mean that we will implement this challenging project on time and on budget," notes SPIE project manager Bernhard Franz. Matthias Kraus, head of Engineering at SPIE's switchgear engineering business unit, adds, "Thanks to the supplementary retrofitting work – the replacement of the protection equipment in the existing facility our customer is ideally equipped for the future."