SPIE modernises Bad Lauchstädt transformer station and increases its feed-in capacity for renewable energies

Published on 30 November 2022

Bad Lauchstädt, 30 November 2022 – SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, and the transmission network operator 50Hertz are set to continue their power supply partnership. SPIE will be responsible for restructuring and upgrading the Bad Lauchstädt transformer station in Saxony-Anhalt. The plan is to upgrade the facility to meet the stringent requirements regarding the development and operation of the transmission network that go hand in hand with the expansion of decentralised renewable energies. Work is scheduled to begin in January 2023 and finish in the second quarter of 2026.

Building and conversion works for more power

Thanks to its central location in the extra-high-voltage grid operated by 50Hertz, the Bad Lauchstädt transformer station is already a key network node. Grid feed-in capacity requirements will further increase in the future because even more renewable energy will be generated in the region at new wind farms and green-field photovoltaic plants as well as through the repowering of existing wind turbines. To meet these requirements, the transformer station is set to be modernised and significantly expanded over the coming years.

SPIE will be responsible for the primary and secondary technologies. “We will be responsible for electrical works in this project. This also includes upgrading and expanding the protection and control technology. To ensure that the old plant can continue operating during construction activities and generate electricity around the clock, the facility will be modernised across multiple construction phases. To effectively cover the reactive power requirements needed for voltage stability, the Lauchstädt transformer station will be equipped with two STATCOM and two MSCDN systems. For this purpose, SPIE is designing the switchgear panels as an interface,” says Hannes Weinreich, the Berlin-based Sales Manager of the Switch Gear Construction business unit in the High Voltage operational division at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa. The conditions on-site pose an additional challenge. Due to the lack of space, the transformer station cannot be expanded in a straight line in a north-easterly direction, as would normally be the case. The busbar extension will instead take the form of a U shape, while the additional panels will be constructed in a south-easterly direction.

Trusting customer relations

SPIE and 50Hertz enjoy a successful and long-standing relationship. “We are delighted to provide this comprehensive range of services for 50Hertz, our customer of many years, and, through our endeavours, to further increase the use of renewable energies in the region,” says Hannes Simon, the Berlin-based Branch Manager of the Switch Gear Construction business unit in the High Voltage operational division at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa. Uwe Hermann, head of regional centre South at 50Hertz: “Bad Lauchstädt is extremely important because this is where, among other things, the high-power south-west interconnection line towards Bavaria – the ‘Thuringian power bridge’ – begins and also where other extra-high voltage lines converge. We are upgrading this location to make it an important hub for the transmission of renewable energies. This is why we are planning to invest heavily right now in the transformer station technology in collaboration with regional and international partner companies.” “The reduction of carbon emissions and a commitment to climate protection are at the heart of SPIE’s activities. Together with our customer 50Hertz, we are doing our bit to ensure that the energy transition becomes a reality here in Bad Lauchstädt,” says Robert Schaetzke, head of the Switch Gear Construction business unit in the High Voltage operational division at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa.