GE and ISA CTEEP energize the first digital substation for the National Interconnected System in Brazil

GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business recently commissioned the first digital substation in the public power grid connected to Brazil’s National Interconnected System (SIN). Owned by ISA CTEEP – Brazil’s largest private transmission company – the Lorena substation (Sao Paulo, Brazil) has a 1,200 MVA installed capacity and will benefit the entire Vale do Paraiba region, recognized as Sao Paulo’s main center of technology. It will be able to fulfill the energy demands equivalent to the consumption of two cities the same size as Sao Jose dos Campos (Sao Paulo, Brazil).

The Grid Automation team within GE’s Grid Solutions manufactured and commissioned this fully digital substation, including the grid automation and protection system with process bus technology. This technology allows ISA CTEEP to record measured values from the transformers, digitize and send them to protection devices. Digital data is easier to transmit and share between substation devices in real time, allowing for better data utilization.

“The Lorena substation represents a milestone in ISA CTEEP’s digital transformation towards the 4.0 substation, essential for increasingly decarbonized, distributed and digitized energy systems. With this new venture, we will significantly contribute to increasing the reliability, efficiency and sustainability of the Brazilian transmission system,” said Dayron Urrego, executive director of projects at ISA CTEEP.

As the digital substation is fitted with fiber optic cables, instead of point-to-point copper wires, its footprint has been reduced by 50% compared with a conventional substation, resulting in a lower environmental impact. It also features a 30% smaller control room, which also reduces its impact. Thanks to the use of fiber optic cables, technicians can avoid coming into direct contact with the circuits since maintenance work is done directly from the control room.

“The digitalization of the electrical system is mandatory for millions of people to continue having access to energy wherever and whenever it’s needed,” said Alexandre Ferrari, Commercial Leader for GE’s Grid Solutions business in Latin America. “With advanced and digital technologies, we reduce costs in engineering, maintenance and installation, and we bring the benefits for a more efficient and reliable energy transmission and distribution system to Brazil.”

The contract for the project, which has two transmission lines operating at 500 kV and four transmission lines operating at 230 kV, was signed in 2019.

GE has energized five additional digital substations across Latin America in recent years – in Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Around the world, GE’s Grid Solutions teams are currently working to deliver more than 100 digital substation (process bus) projects. GE is committed to planning, designing and implementing advanced grid technologies that electrify the world and accelerate the energy transition in partnership with its customers.

About GE’s Grid Solutions
Grid Solutions, a GE Renewable Energy business, serves customers globally with over 13,000 employees. We provide power utilities and industries worldwide with equipment, systems and services to bring power reliably and efficiently from the point of generation to end power consumers. Grid Solutions is focused on addressing the challenges of the energy transition by enabling the safe and reliable connection of renewable and distributed energy resources to the grid. We electrify the world with advanced grid technologies and accelerate the energy transition.

With a team of about 1,400 employees, ISA CTEEP is present in 17 States, operating a complex transmission network through which 33% of all electricity transmitted in Brazil and 94% of the State of São Paulo travel. Its electrical system consists of more than 20,000 km of transmission lines and 140 substations (active in operation and under construction). Privatized in 2006, the main shareholder is the Multilatino ISA Group, which holds 35.82% of the total capital.