Martigny, a small town in southwest of Switzerland is tucked in a valley in the Valais region, surrounded by magnificent mountains. Due to its majestic landscapes, the region is renowned for famous ski resorts such as Verbier and Chamonix in France.
The region of the Valais is also rich in water resources. Home to more than half of the glaciers in Switzerland, the region produces one third of the hydroelectric power of the country. B-Valgrid's central activity is the distribution of this power in the geographical area of Bas-Valais.
B-Valgrid has upgraded and refurbished one of its main distribution substation that supplies power to the city of Martigny to further secure the transmission of clean energy to about 25’000 people. As part of the project, B-Valgrid replaced the 50-year old outdoor air-insulated switchyard with ABB’s 72.5 kV live tank circuit-breakers (LTB), specifically designed for indoor applications to protect the electrical network and prevent power outages. The LTBs have been installed within a building to protect the equipment from harsh environmental conditions and to preserve the pristine landscape. An indoor substation increases the reliability and availability for the grid and enables easier accessibility and maintenance compared to outdoor installations.
The LTB technology was chosen due its low environmental impact with minimum SF6 content without compromising the reliability of the power supply. Compared to other indoor switchgear, LTBs are a flexible, cost-efficient and eco-efficient solution. ABB also supplied substation protection and control systems, surge arresters, and solar inverters.
With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, the newly upgraded substation also features solar panels that are installed on top of the building. The panels are used to generate the electricity needed for the operations of the substation.
“ABB’s LTB will further enable the integration of renewable power while enhancing eco-efficiency and preserving the beautiful landscape in canton of Valais” said Markus Heimbach, head of ABB’s High Voltage Products business unit, within the company’s Power Grids division. “We are pleased to contribute to securing a sustainable grid system for Switzerland."
ABB has been playing a pivotal role in the integration of renewable energy in the region. At Nant de Drance, a large pumped-storage power station between Chamonix and Martigny, ABB’s generator circuit-breaker (GCB) technology is protecting key equipment to enhance plant availability.