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Germany's largest switchgear facility is under construction in Charlottenburg to ensure a secure, future-proof electricity supply in Berlin.
An impressive concrete structure graces the site at Quedlinburger Straße 43. Work has been under way here since early 2017, and today sees the celebration of the completion of the highest point of the new building – the topping-out ceremony for the new Charlottenburg 110 kV grid node. The new facility on this site, with is advanced control technology, is an especially important one for the city's power distribution network, and will be completed by 2020. With a capex of EUR 36 million, it is also one of the largest single investments made by Stromnetz Berlin. This building right in the heart of Berlin will soon house the largest 110 kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) facility in Germany, consisting of 31 switch bays spread over two floors. After completion, the Charlottenburg grid node will distribute power to ten transformer stations and four 110 kV customer installations, thereby servicing some 320,000 commercial and household customers in the districts of Charlottenburg, Moabit, Wilmersdorf, Reinickendorf and Wedding. The new Charlottenburg grid node will additionally play a major role for electricity infeed from the nearby Charlottenburg and Moabit CHP plants.
This is a special day for Stromnetz Managing Director Thomas Schäfer. In his welcome speech on the occasion of the topping-out ceremony, he said: "At the Charlottenburg grid node, the special challenges facing modern electricity supply in a growing metropolis are clearly visible. Digitalisation, automation and enhanced flexibility will play their part here in the new building, on the one hand to enable a prompt response to the rising and changing needs for energy supply in Berlin, and on the other hand to meet the wishes of our customers. As the network operator, we are well aware of our special responsibility for this city, which is why we consistently align our actions and our investments with the future requirements of the capital." At the same time, he wished all companies involved in the construction project continued success in their work, and thanked them for their efforts and commitment so far.
Equipped with state-of-the-art switchgear and control technology, the Charlottenburg grid node will do more than just reduce the risk of power outages. It will additionally enable very short restoration times in the event of power outages, because the facility is integrated into the central control system of the Berlin electricity grid.
Charlottenburg has a long history as a location for the energy supply industry. Stromnetz has been operating a grid node here – one of a total of seventeen in the city – since the 1950s. But it has grown old, its capacity is exhausted, and it can no longer be upgraded. After completion of the new build, all cables will be connected to the new grid node and the old plant will be dismantled.