SP Energy Networks is trialling ‘clean-air’ technology at one of its electricity substations. The energy network supplier will pilot innovative switchgear technology developed by Siemens that, if successful and rolled out more widely, has the potential to reduce the volume of a greenhouse gas currently used in its substations.

The first UK installation of an 8DJH 12 switchgear ring main unit means that the substation will be able to operate free of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), the insulator used in electrical substations across the UK. The new technology is climate-neutral as it is comprised of components from clean air which has had all its humidity and impurities removed. SP Energy Networks currently owns and operates 30 000 substations across its licence areas in Scotland, North West England and Wales.

The trial will take place at an SP Energy Networks substation in MacLean Square in Glasgow, close to the Scottish Event Campus where the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) will take place later this year.

SP Energy Networks is working with Siemens, which developed the new ‘Blue Gas-Insulated’ switchgear, to have the equipment delivered and installed at the Glasgow substation by the end of this summer, ensuring it will be in place by the time world leaders arrive in Glasgow for the landmark event.

As part of the ScottishPower group, a Principal Partner for UN COP26 Conference, SP Energy Networks is developing an energy model that it hopes will play a significant role in reaching the UK’s world-leading climate change targets.

It 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.