GE to expand SF6-free portfolio to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions
GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business has announced plans to invest tens of millions of dollars to expand its range of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)-free high-voltage substation equipment to include all key high-voltage levels by 2025.
This is one of Grid Solution’s biggest portfolio investments in years and will support customers in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. GE is the leader in SF6-free high-voltage solutions with its Green Gas for Grid, or g3 (pronounced “g”- cubed) offering. g3 products feature the same high performance and compact dimensional footprint as traditional products, but with more than a 99% reduced global warming potential (GWP).
To transmit electricity safely across the grid from point of generation to the end consumer, substations are used to help transform voltage levels from high to low or vice-versa, and to secure and dispatch the power flow. Due to its strong insulating properties, SF6 is widely used in substation equipment such as switchgear and instrument transformers, with the transmission industry accounting for approximately 80% of the world’s usage. However, this potent greenhouse gas is estimated to contribute 23,500 times more emissions than CO₂ in the event of a leakage and can remain in the atmosphere for up to 3,200 years.
Eighteen of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, driven in large part by greenhouse gases. By offering SF6-free solutions, GE is actively helping customers and countries meet their goals to drastically reduce emissions set by the Paris Climate Agreement as a global response to curb the impact of climate change and limit the overall planet’s warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
“We believe it is our responsibility to lead by example,” said Reinaldo Garcia, CEO of GE’s Grid Solutions. “It is critical for us to advance tangible solutions to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. I am proud that g3 is one of the leading solutions in the Grid Solutions’ portfolio to help our customers navigate this journey to lower emissions.”
By 2025, GE’s Grid Solutions will offer SF6-free gas-insulated substations up to 420 kV, dead tank and live tank circuit breakers up to 550 kV, as well as instrument transformers up to 420 kV. To see GE’s planned g3 portfolio until 2025, click here. Currently, GE’s g3 products are type-tested and available for live tank circuit breakers and gas-insulated substations up to 145 kV, gas-insulated lines (GIL) up to 420 kV and instrument transformers up to 245 kV.
“GE has been at the forefront of developing new technologies that will help transform the electric transmission and distribution industry and also help our customers positively impact the communities around them,” said Vera Silva, Chief Technology Officer at GE’s Grid Solutions. “By expanding our g3 offering to all key high-voltage applications, we’re helping businesses meet and act on the environmental challenges facing our planet.”
Since the first pilot installation of a g3 420-kV GIL by UK’s National Grid in 2017, 15 other leading utilities have chosen GE’s g3 equipment such as Scotland’s SPEN and SSEN, Switzerland’s Axpo, France’s RTE and Germany’s TenneT. By adopting this industry-leading SF6-free technology early on, these 16 utilities have avoided the installation of more than 386,000 tons of CO2 equivalent on the grid.
Source: GE Press release