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News

New Port Ham substation passes key milestone with energisation of interconnector circuit

ABB Limited (Group Headquarters) : 20 July, 2006  (New Product)
Central Networks'
Three feeder circuits and a Supergrid circuit have also been transferred from the old AIS (air insulated switchgear) switching station, and the project team will maintain the pace for the rest of the construction season by transferring an additional circuit each month until the end of October.

Port Ham interconnector switching station is a grid supply point, which feeds electricity from the National Grid substation at Walham into Central Networks' distribution network. This network feeds most of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire and parts of south and east Worcestershire the equivalent of over one million homes. The existing switching station, built in the early 1950s, has been subject to above average load growth and its reliability has deteriorated. It has now reached the end of its useful life and is being replaced to ensure continued reliability of supply. The use of ABB's GIS switchgear has enabled the replacement switching substation to be housed indoors in a new purpose-built building which occupies less than one quarter of the space currently used by the conventional air insulated switchgear switching station.

The ABB and Balfour Beatty consortium is providing a complete design, construction and installation service for the new switching station, which features 20 bays of switchgear and will provide a 132kV interconnection for four incoming and 12 outgoing circuits. Tom Smith, ABB's project manager for Port Ham said:

'We will have eight out of 16 circuits transferred by October this year, which puts us bang on target to have the new switching station fully commissioned for the end of 2006. Transferring circuits calls for planned outages. This is timed to ensure that there is no supply disruption to Central Networks customers during the peak winter period. Also the position of the site on the river flood plain presents some challenges for working during winter. The switching station is on raised ground, and the building itself is on stilts, and in one period of heavy rain it became an island surrounded by flood water.'
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