GE expands its SF6-free HV offering

17 December 2019

GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business has announced plans to invest tens of millions of dollars to expand by 2025 its range of sulphur hexafluoride–free high- voltage substation equipment to include all key high-voltage levels. This is one of Grid Solution’s biggest portfolio investments in years. GE is a leading producer of SF6-free high-voltage solutions with its Green Gas for Grid, or g3, offering, which is said to feature the same high performance and compact dimensional footprint as traditional products, but with a more than 99% reduction in global warming potential.

SF6 is a potent greenhouse gas, estimated to be 23 500 times as effective as carbon dioxide as a GHG, and can remain in the atmosphere for up to 3200 years. Eighteen of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, driven in large part by greenhouse gases. Offering SF6-free solutions is an active response to the need to drastically reduce emissions set by the Paris Climate Agreement as a global response to curb the impact of climate change.

By 2025, GE’s Grid Solutions will offer SF6- free gas-insulated substations up to 420 kV, dead tank and live tank circuit breakers up to 550 kV, as well as instrument transformers up to 420 kV. Currently, GE’s g3 products are type-tested and available for live tank circuit breakers and gas-insulated substations up to 145 kV, gas-insulated lines up to 420 kV and instrument transformers up to 245 kV. Since the first pilot installation of a g3 420 kV 230m long GIL by the UK’s National Grid in 2017, commissioned in 2017, 15 other leading utilities have chosen g3 equipment, collectively avoiding the installation of more than 380 000 tons of CO2 equivalent on the grid.

Other key g3 projects include Axpo Grid, Switzerland which hosts the world’s first full g3 gas-insulated substation, energised in 2018; the 110 kV g3 GIS features the same footprint and ratings as the best SF6 equipment: SSEN, Scotland, where GE is installing the world’s largest g3, in terms of gas quantity: and TenneT, Germany, where the first g3-insulated 245 kV current transformers installed anywhere were energised in 2017.

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