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£10M+ environmentally friendly tech at Glasgow substation


We have announced plans to invest more than £10m in new environmentally friendly technology at an electricity substation in Glasgow, as the city welcomes the UN COP26 climate change conference.

The investment forms part of a larger £50m modernisation project at our Windyhill substation which will take four years to complete and create 40 jobs. The substation was originally commissioned in the 1960s and is now being brought firmly into the 21st century thanks to this investment in new technology.

The substation, located between Bearsden and Clydebank, is our second site in the UK to roll out this sustainable technology to minimise the environmental impact of our operations. This development is part of our commitment to a greener, low carbon future.

The new gas-insulated busbar technology has been developed in partnership with Hitachi Energy and uses a greener alternative to sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), the most commonly used insulator for electrical equipment in substations across the UK. We plan to roll out this technology across our UK network in the coming years.

This project will avoid more than 3,000kg of SF6 being added to our network. This represents over 30% of the commitment we made for our 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.

Substations exist to 'step down' high voltage electricity from the transmission system to lower voltage electricity so it can be easily supplied to homes and businesses through power lines.

We currently own and operates a large network of substations across our licence areas in Scotland, North West England and Wales.

Pearse Murray

Pearse Murray, SP Transmission Director at SP Energy Networks, said: “We’re continuously evolving our operations and looking for ways to make our network more environmentally sustainable. The introduction of this greener technology developed by Hitachi Energy is a major step forward in our push towards achieving Net Zero emissions in the future.

“The eyes of the world are on Glasgow just now with the COP26 climate change conference taking place in the city. Introducing this new technology will have a legacy long beyond COP26 and it cements our position leading the way towards more sustainable substations. We’re proud of our innovative approach to delivering a greener future for our customers.”

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.”

Part of the ScottishPower group, a Principal Partner for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) currently taking place in Glasgow. SP Energy Networks is investing a total of £10bn in the clean energy generation and networks infrastructure needed to help the UK decarbonise and reach net zero emissions. SP Energy Networks is developing an energy model that will play a significant role in reaching the UK’s world-leading climate change targets.


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