The Itaipu Binacional hydropower plant is located on the Paraná river bordering Brazil and Paraguay. It has an installed capacity of 14,000 megawatts (MW).

ABB has been selected to build a new air-insulated switchgear (AIS) substation rated at 500/220/66 kV to connect the electricity generated at Itaipu to a new 500kV transmission line now being built that will help meet increasing demand for electricity in Paraguay. The existing 500kV substation in Itaipu will also be expanded to enable the connection. The civil works will be carried out by CIE, a Paraguayan construction company.

“The new substation and extension will enhance transmission capacity and support the development of Paraguay’s power infrastructure,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “In addition to bringing clean hydropower to meet growing electricity demand, it will also strengthen grid reliability and improve power stability in the region.”

ABB will design, engineer, supply, erect, and commission the substations, including the civil works and provide customer training. Major products to be supplied include power transformers, high- and medium-voltage AIS, instrument transformers, surge arresters, cables and auxiliary systems. The new substation will be equipped with a telecommunications system for the existing 220kV transmission line, including installation of about 100km of optical ground wire – while the line is in service. ABB will also install the substation automation systems incorporating the latest protection and control equipment, compliant with the global IEC 61850 open communications standard.

The new Villa Hayes substation, located some 350km from Itaipu, is expected to be completed in 2013 and will be operated by ANDE (Administración Nacional de Electricidad), the national power utility of Paraguay.