Volker Energy Solutions protects a high-voltage substation thanks to BENNING’s modular power supplies

In the Netherlands, the energy transition is really up & running – with a large proportion coming from offshore wind farms.

By the year 2030, under Netherlands government policy, 27% of the country’s energy needs will be obtained from sustainable sources.*1 This is a major step in the transition to a climate-neutral economy: they plan to complete it by the year 2050 under the “European Green Deal”. After all, the goal for a nation’s economy to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions is an objective in step with the EU’s commitment for global climate protection measures under the Paris Agreement.*2

And by now the Kingdom of the Netherlands is well on the way towards quitting fossil fuel based energy, and moving towards natural sources of power. In this context, a significant priority for completing the planned energy transition is exemplified by the large-scale expansion of wind farms off the coast of the Netherlands.*3 And this also includes the modern Borssele wind farms 1 thru 4, located approximately 23 km off the coast of Zeeland, more or less level – on the map – with the port of Vlissingen.

Protecting the processes that are critical to operation

But this is not to be achieved solely by constructing wind farm systems. A critical point is the feeding of the DC power generated at sea into the grid infrastructure on the land side. If any disruptions or failures arise at these points of connection, then the process of transferring power from sea could fail altogether, under certain circumstances.
Again, the entire power transport grid can suffer unwelcome repercussions. These considerations give rise to the need to provide specifically defined, critical nodal points – in this instance, high-voltage substations – for protection against grid disruptions or power failures.

Accompanied by Mr Bram Slaager, the MD of BENNING Benelux, POWER news was able to pay a visit to the high-voltage substation near the Borssele site, which is operated by the firm of TenneT. This plant is owned by TenneT and was planned & constructed by the Rotterdam company of Volker Energy Solutions, and commissioned in 2019.
The company, which has come to be identified as the specialist in this field, had successfully passed the outsourcing selection phase in 2018/2019. We were able to have a chat on site with Mr Dorré about the project.

2 man inside the Borssele high-voltage substation
A view of the Borssele high-voltage substation in the process of inspection. The substation is protected from grid disruptions or failures thanks to two ENERTRONIC modular SE UPS systems (each one comprising 60 kW) together with two BENNING rectifier systems (220 VDC / 200 A) (see background)
2 man in front of the TenneT 380 kV / 220 kV Borssele Landstation
Mr Dorré (FL) explains Mr Schoon (FR) the function of the equipment on the TenneT 380 kV / 220 kV Borssele Landstation.

Objective: Maximised plant availability

The systems for automation of substations, for their safety and for their management are the particularly critical consumers of any high-voltage substation. Without these key elements, it would be impossible to assure the operation of the high-voltage switching circuitry. In conjunction with the need for these systems to receive the optimum protection from power failures and grid disruptions, Volker Energy Solutions opted for BENNING’s high-availability, modular standby power supplies.

It goes without saying that the specialists will have insisted on having redundancy built into the backup systems, since – as already discussed, above – any failure in critical applications could result in serious consequences. And the advantages of BENNING’s modular system technology were already familiar (from the project phase) to Volker Energy Solutions.

These advantages include, for example:

  • Maximum availability and reliability
  • Impressive MTTR (hot-swap)
  • Straightforward and cost-effective to service
  • Minimised operating costs

Further plus points were available, since it was possible to reduce the floorspace requirement, thanks to the modest footprint of BENNING’s modular systems. In future, too, it will be a convenient, straightforward procedure to complete updates or expansions, when it comes to the need to scale up the output. This adds up to a sustained, reliable investment roadmap for the operators of the high-voltage substation.

Custom solution

The standby power supplies which BENNING adapts to clients’ specific, individual needs are tailored for 2n redundancy.
In essence, they consist of two ENERTRONIC modular SE UPS systems each with 60 kW output and two rectifier systems (220 VDC / 200 A). These are based on three TEBECHOP 13500 modules.
In the event of a power failure, the UPS systems will uphold the operation of the safety systems whilst the rectifier systems will cover the supply of power to the high-voltage switching plant. In conjunction with the lead cell banks which are connected and locked into the function circuit, a four-hour covering period is guaranteed.

Borssele windfarms 1 and 2 have been reliably supplying power to the Netherlands energy grid – via the landside station at Borssele – since the beginning of April 2020.
A total output of 752 MW is being produced by a total of 94 wind turbines. This amount of energy is enough to supply 1 million households with electrical power.*6
A further 77 wind turbines are planned for Borssele farms 3 and 4.

In the future, a portion of the generated power will be used in electrolyser systems to produce green hydrogen.*7 This constitutes a readily storable secondary energy source alongside electrical power.*8

A project manager in front of a BENNING rectifier system rack
Rectifier system (220 VDC / 200 A) equipped with three Tebechop 13500 SE type modules

Moving closer to the energy transition

In the final analysis, it’s the the teamwork between BENNING’s power supplies and UPS systems in conjunction with the high-voltage substation constructed by Volker Energy Solutions (and operated by TenneT) that ensures that the landside grid infrastructure can securely depend on receiving uninterrupted feed of the sustainable electrical power produced at sea. This is how the participating companies are making such a crucial contribution to the energy transition, supporting the Netherlands in the country’s policy of achieving a fully climate-neutral economy.

ENERTRONIC modular SE, 20 kW module frontview
ENERTRONIC modular SE, 20 kW module
Volker Energy Solutions
Frontdoor from the company building of Volker Energy Solutions

Volker Energy Solutions
Zalmstraat 7a
3016 DS, Rotterdam

Volker Energy Solutions is a leading supplier in the field of infrastructure/energy management.*4 The company specialises in planning, constructing and managing sophisticated medium voltage and high voltage plant.
In conjunction with their customers – who include grid operators and energy producers – they develop solutions to meet the challenges of the energy transition.

TenneT TSO B.V.

TenneT TSO B.V.
Utrechtseweg 310

TenneT is one of the leading ÜNBs (=transmission system operators) for electrical power in Europe, with business activities in the Netherlands and in Germany.*5 The company upholds a posted mission of maintaining reliable, round-the-clock power supply to approximately 42 million end consumers in its catchment areas – from its own high-voltage and extra high-voltage grid.

Rolf Dorré

”We collaborate with various providers, on our projects. And we normally shop for components by means of outsource posts on an online platform. For many years, we have enjoyed our collaboration with BENNING. They always come up with practical solutions whereby the conception process is backed up with the necessary drawings and documents.
Because Volker Energy Solutions will be setting up further projects of the same type over the next few years, we are anticipating that the two companies will continue to collaborate, going forward.”

Rolf Dorré,
Project Manager, Projects at Volker Energy Solutions

Further Information

author/contact: Bram Slaager
telephone: +31 30 63 46 010

*1: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/duurzame-energie/windenergie-op-zee
*2: https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/strategies/2050_en
*3: https://edison.media/energie/niederlande-baut-windkraft-auf-see-massiv-aus/25201304/
*4: https://www.volker-es.nl/nl/over-volker-es/bedrijfsprofiel
*5: https://www.tennet.eu/de/#&panel1-1
*6: https://orsted.nl/onze-windparken/borssele-1-and-2
*7: https://edison.media/energie/niederlande-baut-windkraft-auf-see-massiv-aus/25201304/
*8: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grüner_Wasserstoff

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