Grid operators have access to an arsenal of sustainability tools to help fight climate change, including increasing the proportion of green and digital switchgear in their networks. EEC Engie, an electrical distribution operator in New Caledonia and subsidiary of France’s multinational electric utility Engie Group, is a prime example of how electricity companies are starting to take this approach to reducing their carbon footprint.
A green alternative to SF6
The company identified an important step in its sustainability journey: to start removing SF6, a greenhouse gas that is harmful to the environment, from the MV switchgear installed on its networks. This was accomplished with SF6-free air-insulated MV switchgear that uses only air and vacuum, instead of SF6. It eliminates the need to use SF6 while retaining the same performance, physical footprint, and connections as traditional SF6 MV switchgear.
This green technology provides benefits that extend beyond greener operations. It can also help electricity companies tackle other MV switchgear challenges, such as safety and SF6 disposal because pure air is non-toxic and does not impact the environment or require recycling. For example, SF6-free MV switchgear provided a solution for one of EEC Engie’s biggest challenges: SF6 recycling, a complicated issue on the remote island, which does not have convenient channels for recycling SF6.
Connected technologies supporting a zero-carbon ambition
SF6-free air-insulated MV switchgear is only one part of electricity companies’ sustainability formula. They also need smart, ecological technology to optimally integrate DER and improve smart grid management while also increasing operational efficiency, ensuring business continuity, simplifying operations, and controlling equipment health. You can watch this video to learn all about our technology.
EEC Engie is successfully piloting sophisticated connected technology solutions that meet those needs and support its zero-carbon strategy. The distribution operator has already found that its advanced, green EcoStruxure-ready substation, which uses SF6-free MV switchgear technology combined with a connected new generation transformer, advances DER use and prepares EEC Engie for smart grid deployment. The new substation also allows EEC Engie to remotely manage its substation and network using wireless sensors and control its equipment’s health.
Green and sustainable solutions like SF6-free air-and-vacuum MV switchgear are the future of electricity. Learn more about how these digital technologies are meeting electricity companies’ biggest environmental challenges while also benefitting other areas of the business.
Read our whitepaper ‘How Electrical Distribution Networks Can Contribute to a Low-Carbon Future’ to learn more about green strategies and solutions.