DNV has initiated an innovative Joint Industry Project in collaboration with Siemens Energy and other key industry players. The aim of the JIP is to increase the sustainability, reliability, and environmental responsibility of power transformers, in line with the need to create an energy infrastructure that is, alongside the generation itself, more environmentally friendly.
The sustainability and carbon intensity of materials used in power grid equipment, especially large power transformers, as well as their performance play a pivotal role in the ongoing development of the energy sector in an environmentally friendly way. Recognising this situation, the JIP will address the environmental impact and sustainability of these vital assets. By establishing standardised sustainability practices, the project seeks to enhance stakeholder confidence and promote an eco-friendlier energy sector.
The JIP's key objectives include defining standardised boundaries and key performance indicators for power transformers, developing a recommended Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, establishing a basis for material passport and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) reports, and creating an assessment methodology for various end-user segments. This approach aims to align industry practices with sustainability goals.
Industry players including Siemens Energy, Hitachi, SGB-SMIT Group, R&S Group, Ormazabal, HSP/Trench Group, TenneT TSO, Elia Group, Amprion TSO, Westnetz, Thyssen Krupp Electrical Steel, Essexwire, JFE steel corporation, Nippon Steel, Metal One, M&I Materials (Midel), Nynas, Cargil, Ergon, and Electrical Oil Services (EOS), have already joined the project. The JIP is currently in the first round of technical workshops, and the application process remains open for additional partners interested in participating.
Power grids will need rapid expansion and adapt to encompass renewable energy sources, and a recent DNV report – ‘Power grids transition outlook – future proofing our power grids – found that 87% of energy leaders and experts believed that there is an urgent need for greater investment in the power grid.
A standard approach towards sustainable power transformers not only helps standardize the green transition but also fosters trust and confidence among stakeholders, including grid owners, suppliers, and manufacturers. The JIP's outcome will be a DNV Recommended Practice, providing a foundation for effective communication and consultation among power transformer stakeholders on sustainability parameters, terminology, data quality, and life cycle assessment.