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This report was presented at the CIGRE B3 Colloquium in Venezuela (22-23 October 2001) Preferential Subject 1



1. Summary


characteristics (such as short-time current level, maximum current carrying capac- ity, characteristics of transformers, insu- lation level and compensating devices). The location of a substation at a par- ticular site will give rise to specific system requirements, some will however be stan- dardised within the network of the Util- ity. Examples of system requirements are general location requirement, extent of the substation, required availability of circuits, busbar schemes, current rating, fault current levels, neutral point earth- ing, fault clearance time with respect to system stability, future extensions, con- trol and needs of personnel and equip- ment characteristics.

ing performance requirements).have been defined.

The need for a new substation has


been identified.


This paper provides an overview of the process by which a substation is estab- lished. It considers the system require- ments, site selection, and community acceptance. The attached figure shows the various stages necessary in the establishment of a new substation. It gives a typical exam- ple where a «step by step» approach to the planning and design process is considered. However, in practice iterative actions may often be involved. This process is described in greater detail in a CIGRE Technical Brochure [1].


The system requirements (includ-


Given this information a suitable site can be selected for the substation consid- ering the following:

3.1 Site selection

For the location of a new substation in the network, several alternatives often exist. The total costs of each option should be calculated. The cost of build- ing new transmission lines and the rein- forcement of existing circuits are often in the same order as that of the substation. It is thus worth examining various alter- natives with system planners to limit transmission line costs. The choice of a site for a substation is a compromise between technical, eco-

nomic, environmental and administrative

2. System require- ments


Busbar Scheme


Technical Parameters

The selection of a busbar scheme and its possible extensions for a particular sub- station is an important initial step of the design. Among the matters that affect this decision are operational flexibility, system safety, reliability and availability, ability to facilitate system control and costs.

3. Design procedure

The design of a substation depends on the functions it has to fulfil, these are defined by system planners Technical parameters are established in consultation with asset managers, sys- tem operators and system users transmis- sion departments. They are defined by means of system studies and economic considerations. Economic benefits may be derived from specifying the technical requirements to allow the use of stan- dardised HV equipment with identical

factors. The area available for the substation, the number of outgoing feeders of differ- ent voltage levels, the number of main transformers, the busbar schemes and the possibility of extension as well as com- pensating equipment options should take into consideration future needs and life expectancy of the substation.

The starting point for the substation design procedure is as follows :


EELLEECCTTRRAA N°210 - Octobre 2003


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COLLOQUIA SC B3 No. 210 - October 2003 E E L L E E C C

No. 210 - October 2003 EELLEECCTTRRAA 47

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Protected areas : The site should be


The first step is to locate possible sites, which are as level as possible, with enough available area, at reasonable costs, with easy access, within the general location and without important restrictions on line cor- ridors, where the substation can be erected with minimum environmental impacts. It is advantageous to locate sites near to exist- ing line corridors or even at crossing points. Sometimes such places simply do not exist and the choice will be confined to places that have only some of the above characteristics. Once the possible sites have been located, an analysis is then made for all the technical and environmental aspects of each one, including costs, potential envi- ronmental impacts and the preventive or corrective measures that can be taken to avoid or reduce them. It is also worthwhile to assess the community acceptance of project. This analysis then furnishes the cri- teria for deciding on the most suitable sub- station site, bearing in mind the degree of feasibility and the project cost of each alternative. If no suitable site is found, the

chosen so as to avoid any areas or spots listed as protected areas due to the impor- tance of their plant or animal communi- ties or their cultural heritage.

the choice of a substation layout. Diffi- culties in the establishment of line corri- dors may be overcome by the use of multi- circuit pylons or, in extreme cases, changing from overhead line to under- ground cables.


Community Planning : The local

town planning policy needs to be taken into account when siting the substation to avoid urban areas, development land or land held in reserve for possible future development. Landscaping may be cov- ered by local regulations and should be considered in detail.

Pollution : The risk of failure and the equipment maintenance costs will gener- ally increase with the pollution level. Such risks are however minimised with GIS.



Other environmental considerations to be taken into account in the design, such as aesthetics, noise, oil leakage /spills, waste management, etc., are described in [2].

Having selected the site location, the design and construction process would broadly follow the steps shown in Fig1. Recent trends in Utilities have been towards sourcing design and construction of substations through competitive bid- ding processes to ensure capital efficien- cies and labour productivity.


Technical Aspects

Technical aspects to be considered in the site selection process include:


Topography : The area of the sub-

process may be reinitiated with another general area.

station site should preferably be flat but not prone to flood or water stagnation.





Geological characteristics : The soil

[1] General guidelines for the Design of Outdoor AC Substations: CIGRE Brochure 161, Aug 2000. [2] Sahazizian, A.M., Kertesz, T., Boehme, H., Roehsler, H., Elovaara, J., Blackbourn, R., Stachon, J., Aoshima, Y.,



Environmental Aspects

must allow the construction of roads and foundations. A low value of soil resistivity

The possible impacts on the natural or social environment should be considered, such as:

is desirable to facilitate earthing system design. The seismic characteristics of the area should also be considered.


Fletcher, P. On behalf of WG 23.11: Envi-


Land : The site should be chosen


Access : The most difficult equip-

ronmental aspects in Substations; CIGRE


such that the need for earth movement and spoil disposal are minimised.

ment, as far as access is concerned, are power transformers and large reactors, the other equipment being of shape compat-

1998; 23-201.


Water : The site should be chosen

ible with any common transportation net- work. The transport procedure must be checked both ways (to and from substa- tion site) and measures taken to maintain it during the substation lifetime. Access of


so as to avoid any damage to the natural drainage network, especially to permanent

surface watercourses.

Vegetation : Where possible the

substation should be sited in low-produc- tivity farming areas or uncultivated land, avoiding areas in which the existing plant formations have a high ecological or eco- nomic value.

operators and maintenance teams must also be considered.


Line entries : Line corridors have

great influence on the geographical ori- entation of the substation and may impose



EELLEECCTTRRAA N°210 - Octobre 2003