SP Energy modernises transmission network with Hitachi Energy

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UK utility SP Energy Networks is replacing its transmission cables with gas-insulated lines developed by Hitachi Energy as part of efforts to modernise the network and reduce emissions.

The EconiQ gas-insulated lines will help SP Energy Networks to avoid the emissions of 3,000kg of sulfur hexafluoride within its energy transmission network, the equivalent of removing 7,500 passenger vehicles from the road for a year, according to the statement.

The utility says the project will play a role in helping Scotland to achieve its 2045 net-zero target and is part of efforts to modernise ageing infrastructure with advanced technologies for improved flow of electricity and to enable the energy company to achieve its carbon-neutrality goal.

To modernise the utility’s 275KV Windyhill substation in Glasgow, which was built in the 1970s, Hitachi Energy will replace up to 1,500 meters of transmission lines with climate-friendly cables that contain no sulfur hexafluoride. The project is expected to be completed by 2025.

Hitachi Energy will also provide the utility with 15 bays of 300KV gas-insulated switch gears.

Markus Heimbach, managing director at Hitachi Energy, said the project will help accelerate Scotland’s energy transition by enabling more renewable energy capacity to be transported.

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The announcement comes days after calls for governments and global utilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including methane and carbon dioxide have intensified at the COP26 summit currently underway in Glasgow.

As a result, more than 100 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge and agreed to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels. The UK, the US, Japan and Canada are some of the countries that have pledged to reduce methane emissions.

Some 190 countries have also pledged to phase out coal at COP26, a development that will massively reduce emissions from power generation. Of all the signatories, 23 countries made their first-time commitment to coal phase-out.

Commenting on the deal with Hitachi Energy, Pearse Murray, director of transmission at SP Energy Networks, said: “Introducing this new technology will have a legacy long beyond COP26 and it cements our position leading the way towards sustainable substations. We’re proud of our innovative approach to delivering a greener future for our customers.”

Norwegian grid operator BKK Nett is also upgrading its substation with Hitachi Energy to decarbonise its operations. BKK Nett will use Hitachi Energy’s EconiQ Live Tank Breakers 145kV in more than 10 substations in the western region.

Atle Isaksen, Head of Grid Development at BKK Nett, said: “With such an eco-efficient technology, we are able to build future-proof substations with lower environmental impact.”