ABB has secured an order worth about $35m from German transmission system operator TransnetBW to upgrade a substation in Offenburg, in the southwest German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Germany is implementing an energy transition plan, called “Energiewende”, which entails a renewable energy target of at least 80% by 2050, as the German power system moves from traditional, coal-fired generation towards a much heavier reliance on “clean” forms of energy.

Assimilating increasing amounts of renewables into the grid calls for new flexibility and increased capacity of the transmission network and the voltage level of many power lines and substations is therefore being enhanced from 220 kilovolt (kV) to 380 kV.

The existing 220-kilovolt (kV) air-insulated switchgear (AIS) substation will be replaced by a compact 380 kV GIS substation, increasing transmission capacity and flexibility.

The upgraded substations will be part of a transmission network that plays an important role in European power trading, since it is integrated into the national and European grid via numerous interconnectors.

As part of the order, ABB will design, supply and install a turnkey 380 kV indoor GIS system including the auxiliary equipment and also connect the substation to the 380 kV network and build a new terminal tower.

ABB’s Power Grids division president Claudio Facchin said: "The deployment of ABB’s latest compact, reliable and efficient GIS technology will boost capacity and help strengthen the German transmission system.

“We are also pleased to continue our contribution to the German energy vision and support the transition to renewable forms of energy, a key focus area of ABB’s Next Level strategy.”

The compact indoor design of ABB’s GIS technology allows a space saving of up to 70% compared to conventional AIS. This compactness also makes extensions and retrofitting possible in confined space conditions which would not be possible with AIS technology.

Furthermore, GIS technology increases supply reliability and availability while reducing maintenance requirements.