Siemens Energy and National Grid Team Up to Eliminate SF6 Gases in Cutting-Edge Substation Upgrade
- Time-tested design part of Siemens Energy’s commitment to environment and safety
- Blue switchgear technology will help National Grid meet zero-carbon emissions goal
ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In line with shared commitments to decarbonize, National Grid and Siemens Energy are teaming up to undertake a cutting-edge upgrade of a National Grid substation using Siemens Energy designed fluorinated gas free “Blue circuit breakers” with clean air insulation and vacuum switching technology.
The installation is an example of how the two companies are leading the energy transition. The elimination of fluorinated gasses, specifically SF6, aggressively mitigates greenhouse gas emissions and furthers each company’s goal of addressing climate change, as the global warming potential (GWP) of SF6 is 23,500 times higher than the GWP of CO2. One kg of SF6 has the same greenhouse gas effect as 23,500 kg of CO2. SF6 also remains in the atmosphere for more than 3,000 years.
“The availability of a SF6-free circuit breaker for this voltage class will go a long way toward helping us meet our net-zero carbon emissions targets,” says Jim McGrath, New England Director of Substation Engineering for National Grid. “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges that we currently confront as a society, requiring bold, creative solutions. The Blue circuit breaker is an excellent example of a solution that will help reduce our emissions.”
Scheduled for commissioning in 2023, Siemens Energy’s Blue circuit breakers will be installed in National Grid’s Ayer, Massachusetts, substation that serves several North Central Massachusetts communities. It will be the first Siemens Energy Blue circuit breaker installation in National Grid’s U.S. electricity network.
The core element of Siemens Energy’s Blue circuit breaker is the vacuum interrupter unit. This revolutionary technology enables fluorinated gas-free and climate neutral high-voltage power grids. Instead of SF6 used in most high-voltage circuit breakers, Siemens Energy’s Blue portfolio combines 80 percent nitrogen and 20 percent oxygen as the insulating medium, called clean air. The gas can be released into the atmosphere with zero harmful effects to people and the environment, and with zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“The Blue portfolio design leverages our 150 years of industry experience and has an 11-year proven track record of successful vacuum high-voltage circuit breaker applications,” says Tim Holt, member of the Siemens Energy managing board responsible for the Transmission business. “It shows we are fully committed not only to being carbon neutral ourselves, but to supporting partners like National Grid who care about the environment and human safety.”
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Siemens Energy is one of the world’s leading energy technology companies. The company works with its customers and partners on energy systems for the future, thus supporting the transition to a more sustainable world. With its portfolio of products, solutions and services, Siemens Energy covers almost the entire energy value chain – from power generation and transmission to storage. The portfolio includes conventional and renewable energy technology, such as gas and steam turbines, hybrid power plants operated with hydrogen, and power generators and transformers. More than 50 percent of the portfolio has already been decarbonized. A majority stake in the listed company Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) makes Siemens Energy a global market leader for renewable energies. An estimated one-sixth of the electricity generated worldwide is based on technologies from Siemens Energy. Siemens Energy employs around 91,000 people worldwide in more than 90 countries and generated revenue of €28.5 billion in fiscal year 2021. www.siemens-energy.com.
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