Investments in the climate-neutral power system
As a part of the reinforcement work required to connect wind power to the main grid, Fingrid has made a decision to invest in a new substation to be built in Julmala in South Ostrobothnia. In addition, the gas-insulated switchgear in Virkkala will be modernised using environmentally friendly technology with no SF6 gas.
Wind power plants are being built in the municipalities of Seinäjoki and Kurikka, and the main grid must develop to enable them to be connected. For this reason, Fingrid has decided to invest in the construction of a new 110 kV substation in Julmala. The Julmala substation will be built along the Seinäjoki-Rännäri 110 kV transmission line, which is owned by Fingrid.
The new substation will enable wind power to be connected to the grid and improve reliability in terms of electricity transmission in the region. The Julmala substation is due to be commissioned in 2022.
Fingrid has also made a decision to invest in modernising the 110 kV gas-insulated switchgear in Virkkala, as it is currently in poor condition. The switchgear is an important grid node for the main grid, as it supplies five 110 kV connections on the main grid. The substation also serves the major industrial clients in the region, as well as the town of Lohja.
Environmentally friendly technology in the Virkkala substation
Modernising the 110 kV switchgear in Virkkala so that it operates without SF6 gas is the first step on Fingrid’s roadmap toward phasing out SF6 as a insulating gas due to its harmful impact on the environment.
There is less public awareness of SF6 as a greenhouse gas in comparison with carbon dioxide. However, the impact of SF6 on the environment is thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide if the gas leaks into the air.
Phasing out SF6 gas is a relatively new idea for the sector. The gas was previously needed in the switchgear at substations. Thanks to new innovations, it is now possible to eliminate SF6 gas to some degree when new substations are built. Fingrid seeks to be a frontrunner in this area and build new substations using environmentally friendly technology.
The Virkkala and Julmala projects will cost a total of approximately EUR 13 million. Fingrid decided to invest in the projects in November 2020.
Senior Vice President, Network Asset Construction and Maintenance
tel. +358 40 543 3039
Further information about SF6 gas and the new technology:
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Article from Fingrid Magazine about SF6-free technology: