SSEN Transmission awards GE Grid Solutions a contract for world’s first 420 kV g3 GIS

by Dec 3, 2020

SSEN Transmission awarded a contract to GE Grid Solutions to manufacture, deliver and commission a 420 kV Green Gas for Grid (g3) GIS at its new Kintore 400 kV substation in Aberdeenshire, on the north-east coast of Scotland, making it the world’s first 420 kV g3 order.

This will facilitate SSEN Transmission in reaching its carbon reduction targets by building the transmission infrastructure necessary to connect and transport renewable energy, while avoiding the addition of about 350,000 tons of CO2 equivalent to the grid. In addition, SSEN Transmission has set an ambitious goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 1/3rd by 2026, making SSEN Transmission the world’s first electricity networks company to receive external accreditation for a Science Based Target in line with a 1.5°C global warming pathway (“limiting warming to 1.5°C implies reaching net zero CO2 emissions globally around 2050” – IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)).

This order by SSEN Transmission signifies the market’s acceptance of this technology as a viable alternative to SF6. Also, since 420 kV is the highest voltage level used in Europe, this will subsequently demonstrate the scalability of g3 for all standard voltage levels.

SSEN Transmission is one of 21 leading utilities in Europe that have chosen GE’s g3 equipment to help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Some other important ones include:
• UK’s National Grid
• France’s RTE
• Germany’s TenneT
Together, these utilities are avoiding the addition of more than 900,000 tons of CO2 equivalent to the grid. Moreover, the 420 kV g3 substation is SSEN Transmission’s 4th g3 order. In 2019, SSEN Transmission ordered the construction of a 1 km long g3 gas insulated line at its New Deer substation, a 145 kV g3 gas insulated substation and a 420 kV g3 gas insulated busbar for its Fort Augustus site. Additionally, there have been 3 other g3 orders in 2020. They are summarized as follows:
1) Evonik – Ten F35-145kV g3 GIS bays for its Marl Chemical Park in western Germany
2) Omexom – Eight 145 kV GIS bays using g3 for an industrial customer’s waste plant in the UK
3) RED ELÉCTRICA DE ESPAÑA – one 72.5 kV g3 mobile substation in Spain
GE has sold more than 100 g³ GIS bays since the launch of g³ in 2016.

Furthermore, the 420 kV g3 circuit breaker at the core of the substation is being co-funded over a two-year period by the EU’s LIFE Program dedicated to climate change. SSEN Transmission joined GE’s LifeGRID project earlier this year to contribute to the specification of the circuit breaker’s main performance requirements. SSEN Transmission has been working with GE over the past 18 months to support the research and development of this innovative technology.

GE’s g3 technology is an alternative to SF6, an insulating and switching gas that has been used for decades in high-voltage substation equipment. Identified as the world’s most potent greenhouse gas by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, SF6 is estimated to have a 23,500 times higher GWP relative to CO? and can remain in the atmosphere for up to 3,200 years. g3 products feature the same high performance and reliability as SF6 equipment but with a greatly reduced impact on the environment over their lifetime. According to life-cycle assessments (LCAs), based on international ISO 14040/14044 standards, their CO2 equivalent impact is reduced by 99%, compared to SF6. At the same time, because g3 products have the same compact dimensions as SF6 products, there is no increase in emissions during the manufacturing process due to additional material. Link to the news: