Powering up our cathedrals and spires. Our tower blocks and our skylines. Our stadiums and supply lines. An invisible transformation, making power cleaner. Helping our city’s energy network get greener.
As easy as a turn of a knob, touch of a button, flick of a switch, power can be accessed at home without really thinking about the infrastructure which underpins it.
Whilst the focus of the green transition has been primarily on energy generation, infrastructure needs to also support this shift. Siemens and SP Energy Networks, part of the Scottish Power Group, have worked together to build and trial the UK's first clean air substation.
The innovative new technology developed by Siemens, the blue GIS range, is free of polluting sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) gas which is traditionally used as an insulator for electrical equipment in UK substations. This new technology, currently being piloted in Glasgow, means it will be the UK’s first ‘Clean Air’ substation. This initiative has the potential to develop our grid system for a greener, cleaner and more sustainable future.
Substations are responsible for ‘stepping down’ high voltage electricity from the transmission system to lower voltage electricity so it can be easily supplied to homes and businesses through underground power lines. Scottish Power currently own and operate 30,000 substations across Scotland, North West England and Wales.
Traditionally, SF6 is used as an insulator in switchgear but this new trial will use a climate-neutral insulation comprised of components from ambient air which will help us to reduce CO2 footprint, make it safer to handle the switchgear and easier to recycle at the end of its service life.
It’s a major step forward for us as we try new ways to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions and learnings from this trial will help us develop our grid system going forward as we continue to lead the way towards a greener, cleaner, more sustainable future.Graham Campbell, Director of Processes and Technology, SP Energy Networks
What makes our switchgear ‘Blue’?
We’re proud to work with SP Energy Networks to specify, manufacture and install the latest in ‘Clean Air’ switchgear technology from our Siemens Blue GIS range at their site in Glasgow. The climate-neutral insulation medium used, which is comprised exclusively of natural components from ambient air, is a game changer, removing the need for fluorinated gases and reducing SP Energy Network’s carbon risk.Jon Turner, Head of Siemens Distribution Systems Businesses, GB&I