Lubmin, 13 January 2021 – SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has been commissioned by transmission system operator 50Hertz to upgrade the switchgear in the Lubmin transformer station. This contract includes installing new 220 kV and 380 kV control panels inside the air-insulated plant and laying and connecting 220 kV cables inside the transformer station. The upgrade of the transformer station provides the infrastructure needed for feeding renewable energy generated at the Baltic Eagle and Arcadis Ost 1 wind farms into the German electrical grid. The order encompasses everything from planning and commissioning to the handover of the new systems and installations to 50Hertz. Work on site began back in January 2020. In the coming weeks, one project milestone – the commissioning test on the 220-kV high-voltage cables – will be reached ahead of schedule.
Fit for the future: integration of renewable energies
The amount of renewable energy generated from water, wind, biomass and sunlight is increasing all the time. Year by year, renewable energy is covering an ever-greater proportion of electricity consumption in Germany. At the same time, however, the energy transition is the biggest challenge that the German electrical grid has ever faced. In some cases, electricity has to be transported over long distances. Capacity in the transformer stations also must be increased so that this energy can be fed into the electrical grid. “To make the energy supply in Germany more climate-friendly, more and more renewable energy generation plants are being set up. This is important for meeting the demanding requirements placed on the electrical grid in response to the increasing proportion of electricity that comes from renewables”, says Hannes Simon, location head of switchgear engineering in Berlin at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa High Voltage operational division.
Upgrade alongside day-to-day operations
The multi-technical services provider is modernising the transformer station alongside day-to-day operations to prevent any problems with the electricity supply for the connected households and businesses. “What makes this order so special is that we are not only upgrading the switchgear but also installing additional 220 kV cables in the transformer stations”, says Hannes Simon. “Electricity is transported at different voltage levels: high voltage over long distances and low voltage over shorter distances. The energy from the Baltic Sea wind farms, for example, reaches the transformer station at 220 kV. The new cable connections capture this electricity and forward it within the transformer station”. The process of installing the new cable connections in the existing transformer station required extremely careful planning.
A reliable and long-standing partnership
50Hertz and SPIE have collaborated successfully for many years. “Since we have already worked together on a number of contracts in the past, the contact persons and project coordinators from 50Hertz and our colleagues, here on site, together form an extremely efficient and well-rehearsed team”, says Simon. “We greatly appreciate the trust they place in us. We are proud of this long-standing partnership and look forward to supporting 50Hertz in their future grid expansion endeavours”.
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