SPEN and Hitachi use SF6 alternative for new substation

SP Energy Networks has announced plans to use new gas-insulated busbar technology in place of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) in an upgrade to the Windyhill substation.
SF6 is a commonly used insulator for electrical equipment in substations across the UK, but if the gas leaks its climate effect is equivalent to thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide and the industry is searching for alternatives. The substation, located between Bearsden and Clydebank, is the second SPEN site in the UK to use the technology and it plans to roll it out across its network in the coming years.
For SPEN using Hitachi’s EconiQ insulation gas at the Windyhill project will avoid more than 3,000kg of SF6 being added to its network – over 30% of the commitment made by the company in its RIIO-T2 plan, which aims to avoid at least 9,700 kg of SF6 being added to the network during the price control period from 2021 to 2026.
Markus Heimbach, Managing Director High Voltage Products at Hitachi Energy, said: “We are honoured to be SP Energy Networks’ partner of choice in the acceleration of Scotland’s energy transition. Following more than two decades of intensive R&D, we have been deploying SF6-free high-voltage technologies and helping our customers to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Further reading
The worst greenhouse gas: why the electricity industry has to grapple with SF6
Greater Gabbard OFTO ‘could not have forseen’ seal failure that released SF6

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