Technology in harmony with nature

April 12, 2017 - ABB’s compact, modular substation technology provides an optimum solution to address fragile ecology of Sabina National Park near Rome

Acea (Azienda Comunale Elettricità e Acque) is a major Italian electricity and water utility based in Rome. The Italian capital, also known as the Eternal City, is home to over four million people and attracts up to 10 million visitors each year. The history of this city and its many renowned landmarks make it one of the busiest travel destinations in the world.

This also puts great demands on Rome’s infrastructure. Acea meets this by providing the city with water and power through a network of facilities, including a hydropower plant, called Salisano, which is located in the beautiful Italian countryside.Built in 1940, the Salisano plant is situated in the unspoiled natural landscape of Sabina National Park, surrounded by forest, deep gorges and farmland. The water that powers its turbines also provides clean drinking water for 3.5 million people in nearby Rome.

Customized modular substations
The Salisano plant, including the substation that serves it, has undergone refurbishment over the past two years. The substation was partly situated in an area prone to landslides so the land had to be cleared of all equipment. Acea wanted a compact, easy-to-install substation that would fit in a new area that was safe but took up minimum space.

ABB designed a solution that was customized to the site requirements and easy to transport. This involved the installation of compact multifunctional modules (MFMs) that incorporated all substation equipment in a single, modular unit – including a power transformer, switchgear, control and protection equipment.

MFMs are available in units that range from 72.5 - 420 kilovolts and can be installed within hours and without the need for high-voltage testing on site. They are equipped with intelligent switchgear for monitoring and diagnostics, which enables preventive maintenance and reduces downtime. The MFMs can connect renewable energy to the gird and provide an energy recovery power supply or serve as backup switching bays.

The innovative technology provided by ABB reinforces the company’s commitment to deliver sustainable solutions that enable a stronger, smarter and greener grid.

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