EU to fund development of GE’s Grid Solutions SF6-free circuit-breaker

14 February 2020 (Last Updated February 14th, 2020 13:44)

European Union (EU) is planning to invest €2.2m to accelerate the development of GE’s world-first sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)-free 420KV gas-insulated substation (GIS) circuit-breaker.

EU to fund development of GE’s Grid Solutions SF6-free circuit-breaker
GE’s SF6-free 420KV gas-insulated substation circuit-breaker. Credit: GE.

European Union (EU) is planning to invest €2.2m to accelerate the development of GE’s world-first sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)-free 420KV gas-insulated substation (GIS) circuit-breaker.

The funding will be provided to GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business under the European Commission’s LIFE climate action programme.

LIFE Programme unit head at the executive agency for small and medium-sized enterprises (EASME) Angelo Salsi said: “This project is a great fit for our recent round of LIFE financial awards due to its potential impact on Europe’s transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future.

“The LIFE programme is one of the most efficient and well-known EU funding mechanisms that has supported nature, the environment and climate action for over 25 years. We look forward to the positive ripple effect this project will have across Europe over the next decade and beyond.”

The funding was awarded as the EU’s LIFE programme recognises the potential of GE’s Green Gas for Grid (g³) to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

The new circuit-breaker will rely on GE’s g³ technology that offers the same performance and compact size as a traditional SF6-insulated circuit-breaker.

GE’s Grid Solutions chief technology officer Vera Silva said: “Our g³ technology is a game-changing alternative to SF6 for high-voltage equipment and is part of GE’s broader efforts to help the electric transmission and distribution industry reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.”

GE’s Grid Solutions will be working with several European partners for the g³ project, including Czech Republic’s Brno University and Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology, as well as CEA and Transmission System Operators (TSOs).