New Deer substation takes major step on path to net zero emissions

A substation at New Deer has become the world’s largest installation of its kind and is being hailed as a major milestone on SSEN Transmission’s pathway to net zero.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 27th May 2021, 7:00 am
The New Deer substation is leading the UK’s electricity industry towards net zero emissions.
The New Deer substation is leading the UK’s electricity industry towards net zero emissions.

For the first time, the company has energised a gas-insulated substation on its network with GE’s g3 gas instead of the more extensively used SF₆ gas.

The new substation will not only provide a connection for 900MW new clean renewable energy to the grid from Moray East Offshore Windfarm, but by installing g3 gas, it is helping to support the transition to net zero emissions and the fight against climate change.

SF₆ is a greenhouse gas that is 23,500 times more harmful to the earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2) and stays in the atmosphere for up to 3200 years.

By using g3 gas instead, the environmental impact is drastically reduced – it has more than 99 per cent less gas global warming potential.

With New Deer substation now home to the world’s largest installation of GE’s g3 SF6-free gas, its CO2 impact has been reduced by the equivalent of 117,128 tons CO2eq.

The energisation of the site marks just over two years of hard work for SSEN Transmission and its principal contractors, a consortium of GE and Amey, to bring the substation online.

Now energised, the substation improves the transmission network in the North East and East Coast of Scotland, enabling renewable generation to be transported from where it is generated to centres of demand across the country.

Simon Johnstone, SSEN Transmission project manager said: “We are delighted to be marking yet another first for SSEN Transmission in the fight against climate change.

"Our substations are vital to enabling the connection of renewable energy to the grid.

"They play a key role in the race to net zero emissions.

"That is why it is important that we strive to make sure our new substations are as green as possible by using new technology such as GE’s g3 insulated busbars.

“By using these innovations, we are not only reducing the environmental impact on our own network.

"We are also demonstrating to the wider energy industry that there is a viable alternative to SF₆ out there, and supporting Government net zero targets.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​”