Scotland builds UK’s first digital substation in Wishaw


The digital substation in Wishaw is reported to be the UK’s first. The fibre-optic cables implemented will replace analogue copper connections in the overhaul of two bays of the 275 kV SP Energy Networks-operated substation.

After the project is completed, the Wishaw substation will be completely automated and will permit better monitoring and control of the transmission network in parts of Scotland, says Engineering and Technology Magazine.

It is also expected to contribute to better safety, flexibility, availability whilst reducing cost and environmental impact of power transmission.

[quote] Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Grids division, which will develop automation technologies for the substation said: “This project will demonstrate how digitalised communications within a substation can increase controllability, facilitate the integration of intermittent renewables and improve safety by replacing copper cabling with fibre optics.

“A key element of our next level strategy is to focus on enabling the automation of the grid in line with our internet of things, services and people approach to help utilities improve reliability and ensure safe and clean energy supply to consumers.”

FITNESS project

The station is being retrofitted as part of the Future Intelligent Transmission Network Substation (FITNESS) project, overseen by SP Energy Networks.

The FITNESS project, launched in December 2015, aims to deliver a state-of-the-art digital substation design.

The Wishaw substation was selected as the first substation for the overhaul, due to the fact the there is a large concentration on wind power plants in the area. Intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) will be implemented, providing microprocessor-based protection and control for power equipment such as circuit breakers, transformers and capacitor banks, adds Engineering and Technology Magazine.

Priyanka Mohapatra, senior project manager for SP Energy Networks commented by saying: “SP Energy Networks endeavours to deliver value for money for UK customers through the FITNESS project and bring innovative digital substation solutions that also enable optimisation of asset investments.

“We are also expecting a saving in overall substation costs when digital technology is adopted as the UK norm, and a footprint reduction of around 15 per cent.”