ABB has won an order from TAURON Dystrybucja SA, one of Poland’s leading power utilities, to upgrade its 110 kilovolt (kV) substation in Oborniki Śląskie, a town in south-western Poland. Once completed, this will be the first digital substation in Poland.

The substation is at the heart of the power grid, distributing electricity to the network’s most distant locations. Its sustained operations are key to the safety and security of power delivery – so it must be reliable and work efficiently, communicating seamlessly with all cooperating devices.

ABB will upgrade the 110 kV switchgear together with protection and control systems as well as the measurement and telecommunication systems. The substation will use IEC61850 digital communication protocol, ensuring interoperability. This will enable it to interconnect one system with suppliers to acquire critical information on the devices, which will support the operator in making fast decisions in critical situations.

As part of the project, optical fiber cables will be used in most of the communication links, providing digital communication with higher data transfer capacity as well as transmission safety and security. It will also optimize costs and lower environmental impact. The substation will also be equipped with fiber-optic current sensors designed to monitor electricity flow. They will replace old instruments and enhance security and accuracy.

“We are pleased to pioneer the concept of digital substations in Poland with this upgrade and equip it with our ABB Ability™ based technologies. The upgrade will enhance controllability and reliability while helping to optimize costs for our customer”, said Patrick Fragman, head of ABB’s Grid Integration business, a part of the company’s Power Grids division. “This project reinforces our focus on service and upgrades and supports our vision of being a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

Earlier this year, ABB completed similar upgrade project of a key substation in New York City, where digital technologies have been applied to the system supplying power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Manhattan.

TAURON Dystrybucja supplies energy to over 5 million consumers in southern Poland. And is investing in the development of network automation, grid diagnostics and reduction of transmission and distribution losses. The digitalization of the substation will set a new standard for the Polish energy sector.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees.