The Fernão Ferro substation is located inside the nature reserve of Rede Natura Fernão Ferro near the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Built in 1980 with an installed capacity of 378 MVA (megavolt amperes) and voltage levels of 150/60 kV (kilovolts), the substation was no longer able to meet the growing demand for power from the surrounding areas. However, extending the perimeter was not an option, given its protected location.
The answer was a compact substation solution, with the latest hybrid GIS (gas-insulated switchgear) technology of the type ELK from ABB. Thanks to the ELK hybrid solution, the transmission utility Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN) which owns the substation, was able to more than double its capacity to 826 MVA, facilitated by installation of six 420 kV hybrid GIS bays.
The ELK hybrid switchgear comes in standardized modules that combine the advantages of encapsulated technology with the simplicity of air-insulated switchgear (AIS), requiring up to 70 percent less space. It also makes the extension of AIS substations with compact GIS technology simple, easy and fast.