Jan 2015
Electricity Transmission
Modular Approach to Substation Construction (MASC)
Jan 2015
Jun 2019
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks
Frank Clifton, Project Development Manager. (frank.clifton@sse.com)
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Network Innovation Competition
SHE Transmission proposes to demonstrate and deploy a permanent substation designed using a Modular Approach to Substation Construction (MASC). The current approach to substation construction differs little from that of 60 years ago; meanwhile many innovations in design and civil engineering could create a substation which is cheaper, faster to deploy and more suited to GB’s low carbon energy future. MASC seeks to prove the following benefits:

  • Faster deployment: MASC maximises off-site construction so that timescales associated with extensive, on-site civil engineering works are shorter.

  • Improved whole life asset value: MASC substations could offer up to 20% savings over an asset’s whole life, compared to conventional builds. This equates to £151m to £655m savings across the GB transmission network.

  • Increased flexibility for network configuration: MASC capacity can be easily modified to suit changes in generation plant capacity.

  • Improved environmental impact: MASC’s smaller geographical footprint and off-site construction ensure improvements in visual amenity and less disruption to local communities, wildlife and land.

The project is expected to last for approximately five years, providing incremental learning and new standards in substation design and operation. Two innovative learning tools will be introduced through the project; a MASC 3-D Virtual Simulation Tool and a MASC Decision Tool. NIC funding is sought to cover only the additional costs of demonstrating MASC for the first time.

SHE Transmission are planning to build a significant number of new substations between now and 2026, which are necessary to:

  • Facilitate the connection of renewable energy generation, and

  • Expand and reinforce the network to create infrastructure which accommodates necessary extra capacity.

The objective of this NIC project is to build, deploy and demonstrate a new, permanent substation using a Modular Approach to Substation Construction (MASC). The NIC funding request covers the additional costs of deploying a MASC substation for the first time; the actual substation project cost will be covered using the industry’s established commercial mechanisms for connections.