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“Things are happening at the Alexanderplatz, which is why we're also getting involved,” says Dr Erik Landeck, Managing Director of Stromnetz Berlin, on the occasion of the laying of the foundations for a new 110 kV substation in the Berlin-Mitte district. “This means that another major investment project for the expansion of the Berlin electricity grid is visibly picking up speed and we are living up to our claim, as well as our mandate to respond to the increasing needs of the growing city early on,” Dr Landeck continues.
By 2026, the new plant with a modern switchgear will be built on the site of the former Alexanderplatz substation on Voltairestraße. The new Voltairestraße substation will be able to cope with the increasing electricity load in the city centre in the future, while also incorporating monument preservation requirements and a special design with a so-called terraced look. After all, the area around the Alexanderplatz is considered a development area. Many high-rise buildings with different uses will be built here in the coming years. The neighbouring network areas are working to capacity. This necessitates the construction of a new substation.
Stephan von Dassel, District Mayor of Berlin-Mitte, stated as the project kicked off: "I am delighted that Stromnetz Berlin is responding to the high level of investment in our district with the construction of the new Alexanderplatz substation. After all, a reliable energy supply is a prerequisite for urban development and quality of life. However, we are currently experiencing the pain of the fact that such reliability is not a matter of course. It is therefore all the more important for private households and business owners to use electricity and gas carefully and save wherever possible."
Stromnetz Berlin wants to maintain the high quality of supply of Germany’s largest urban distribution grid in the long term. The new Voltairestraße substation will play a part in this. The foundations were laid today to mark the start of the building construction. The topping-out ceremony is scheduled for 2024. The electrotechnical equipment of the future power distribution system will then begin.
Stromnetz Berlin will invest around EUR 26.5 million at the site in total until it is commissioned. With 63 megavolt amperes (MVA), the size and performance of the new 110 kV substation is based on the wishes of customers in the supply area, as well as on increasing and rapidly changing power supply requirements. The new plant is therefore being equipped with state-of-the-art switching and control technology. 12,000 households and around 2,000 commercial customers with high power usage – this number will increase rapidly in view of the expected further expansion – will benefit from this. As the plant is integrated into the central control system of the Berlin electricity grid, very short supply restoration times are possible in the event of malfunctions.
Investment strategy continues apace
The construction in Berlin-Mitte is not the only infrastructure project Stromnetz Berlin is currently working on: progress is being made on a number of other grid expansion measures, grid system upgrades, the establishment of high-performance customer connections for computer centres, and more electromobility options. The topping-out ceremony for the Rollberg substation in Neukölln has just been held and the Wuhletal substation in Marzahn-Hellersdorf is due to be completed soon. For these and other projects where the purpose is to expand and maintain the distribution grid in Germany's capital, the company is planning investments totalling EUR 291 million for 2022. This high level of investment activity will continue in the years to follow. Investments of around 1.6 billion euros are planned between 2022 and 2026. Stromnetz Berlin, the youngest company in the “regional family”, focuses on the core elements of security of supply, customer orientation and climate protection.
Special features of the construction
The Alexanderplatz substation was in the same location until spring 2022. It was in operation between 1969 and 2001. Between 2013 and 2022, the former substation became a popular party location but could also be used for conferences and conventions.
One challenge for the construction is the proximity to the railway line and the connection of the existing cables, which are located directly under the suburban railway viaduct in a tunnel.