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Topping out ceremony for new substation in historic Berlin-Mitte

Powerful electricity for the Alexanderplatz area


Berlin has been an electrified city for 140 years. Central Berlin (Mitte) has played an important role in this success story. The capital's first electric light was switched on in 1884 in a café on the Gendarmenmarkt square. Only a few kilometres away, Stromnetz Berlin is now penning a new chapter in Berlin's electric history. Right by Alexanderplatz, the new 110 kV Voltairestraße substation is currently being erected and celebrated its topping out today (20.3.2024).  

It is expected to launch operations in summer 2027, supplying around 12,000 households and 2,000 commercial clients. The building’s construction involved close collaboration with the historic buildings authority and used a special “terrace-like” design. 

“The project is a good example of how important talking to the neighbours is. We work in the heart of a very densely populated area where there’s a lot of construction going on at present. That’s why we want to give particular attention to our locality. For example, we coordinated construction times with the working hours of surrounding businesses,” underscores Dr Erik Landeck, Head of Management of Stromnetz Berlin. 

Dr Severin Fischer, State Secretary for the Economy, Energy and Businesses and chair of the supervisory board of Stromnetz Berlin said: “the energy, mobility and heating transition can only succeed if we continuously develop the electrical grid. Together with Stromnetz Berlin, we are investing in a crisis- and future-proof energy infrastructure: because we know that our electricity needs and the demands on the grid will only grow in the coming years. Substations are particularly important in this. Integrating them in densely populated areas is a particular challenge. This project on Voltairestraße is an outstanding example of the successful interaction of past and future.” 

The new substation is being built on the site of the Alexanderplatz substation that was in active operation from 1969 to 2001. It was used as an event location between 2013 and 2022 and was demolished to make way for its successor. Challenges for the project include the proximity of the railway lines and connection of existing cables that run right under the S-Bahn viaduct in a tunnel. 

Stromnetz Berlin is investing more than two billion euros in the implementation of the energy transition and expansion of the Berlin electrical grid over the coming five years. 30 million is allocated to the Voltairestraße substation. A further six million is estimated for cable connections to the plant. The substation, with a power of 63 megawatts, will make an important contribution to electricity supply in Berlin-Mitte. The transformers required for it will arrive in early 2026. 

This March, Stromnetz Berlin is celebrating its second substation topping out ceremony of the year. A plant in Marzahn already saw its final roof beam placed a month ago.

Construction site substation Voltairestraße near Alexanderplatz. Image: Stromnetz Berlin/Andreas Friese