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Poland announces first digital substation

The substation will be equipped with fibre optic current sensors designed to monitor electricity flow

The substation will be equipped with protection control, comms and measurement technology
The substation will be equipped with protection control, comms and measurement technology

The first digital substation is being enabled in Poland. ABB has won an order from Tauron Dystrybucja SA, one of the country’s leading power utilities, to upgrade its 110 kilovolt (kV) station in Oborniki Śląskie, in south-western Poland.

The substation is at the heart of the power grid, distributing electricity to the network’s most distant locations. Its sustained operations are key to the safety and security of power delivery – so it must be reliable and work efficiently, communicating seamlessly with all cooperating devices. 

ABB will upgrade the 110 kV switchgear together with protection and control systems as well as the measurement and telecommunication systems. The substation will use IEC61850 digital communication protocol, ensuring interoperability.


This will enable it to interconnect one system with suppliers to acquire critical information on the devices, which will support the operator in making fast decisions in critical situations. 

As part of the project, optical fibre cables will be used in most of the communication links, providing digital communication with higher data transfer capacity as well as transmission safety and security. It will also optimise costs and lower environmental impact.


The substation will also be equipped with fibre-optic current sensors designed to monitor electricity flow. They will replace old instruments and enhance security and accuracy.

“We are pleased to pioneer the concept of digital substations in Poland with this upgrade and equip it with our ABB Ability based technologies. The upgrade will enhance controllability and reliability while helping to optimise costs for our customer,” said Patrick Fragman, head of ABB’s grid integration business, a part of the company’s Power Grids division.


He added: “This project reinforces our focus on service and upgrades and supports our vision of being a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

Earlier this year, ABB completed similar upgrade project of a key substation in New York City, where digital technologies have been applied to the system supplying power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Manhattan. 

Tauron Dystrybucja supplies energy to more than five million consumers in southern Poland. And is investing in the development of network automation, grid diagnostics and reduction of transmission and distribution losses. The digitalisation of the substation will set a new standard for the Polish energy sector. 


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