UKPN installs low emission switchgear in Lewes substation

UK Power Networks is installing its first ‘clean air’ gas insulated switchgear (GIS) operating at 132kV, as part of a substation upgrade in Lewes, East Sussex.
Instead of using sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) as insulation the GIS uses dehumidified oxygen and nitrogen. SF6 is widely used across the electrical industry as the main method of insulation in high voltage electrical equipment but it has approximately 22,800 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
UK Power Networks has worked with Siemens Energy Limited, one of the suppliers behind the new technology, to manufacture the company’s first environmentally-friendly ‘clean air’ GIS at 132kV.
The equipment is being installed and is part of UK Power Networks’ ambition to reduce use of SF6 for new switchgear. UK Power Networks has also set a Net Zero target by 2028 on its controllable Scope 1 and 2 emissions, which include SF6 emissions.
Barry Hatton, director of asset management at UK Power Networks, said: “This investment will pave the way for minimising the volume of SF6 on our network and using alternatives which maintain reliability and performance. We want to continue embracing innovative, sustainable and smart approaches to help enable the low carbon transition and minimise our own carbon footprint.”
Mark Simblett, managing director transmission products at Siemens Energy, said: “We are delighted to have been commissioned to deliver this exciting new project for UK Power Networks and to have the opportunity to utilise our SF6-free 145kV switchgear technology.” He added, “Our clean air insulated technology is not only good for the planet but the absence of F-gas will also benefit UK Power Networks through a reduction in training requirements, management of F-gas reporting and the recycling costs that are associated with its use.”