One Energy Enterprises’ Digital Substation In Findlay, Ohio, Energized And Operational

Sept. 7, 2023
The substation incorporates Schweitzer’s TiDL system, Hitachi Energy’s 30 MVA transformer and high-voltage circuit breakers.

One Energy Enterprises’ fully digital, plug-and-play, transmission-voltage substation in Findlay, Ohio, has completed energization with testing and is operational commercially.

The substation planned to power a Megawatt Hub was built as proof of concept for the company’s new, fully digital station architecture.

“Traditional substations are not secure; they can fail during inevitable severe weather conditions, lack basic condition monitoring, and rely on thousands of small wires to send status and control signals back to the control building,” said One Energy CEO, Jereme Kent. “This is why we’ve designed our fully digital substations at One Energy to be secure, digital, resilient, embrace real-time condition monitoring, and survive every conceivable weather event.”

One Energy selected Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories’ TiDL system, which helps connect a substation by fiber optics, thus ensuring physical security instead of opting for the IEC 61850-style digital architecture used in Europe. The TiDL merging unit can be factory installed, tested and commissioned in all major equipment, making field wiring manageable.

The substation’s 30 MVA transformer, which includes the Coresense M10 real-time dissolved gas analyzer and condition monitoring system, is built by Hitachi Energy.

While detecting an anomaly in the transformer, the system through the control system can automatically send alerts through texts to system operators. The analyzer performs a full dissolved gas analysis on the transformer every 10 minutes as compared to a single oil test done by most substation transformers once a year.

Hitachi Energy also supplied the high-voltage circuit breakers featuring a full condition monitoring package to help identify smaller issues and avoid larger problems.

The substation is covered by modular and solid concrete permanent walls to provide better physical security for the site. It was designed to allow for no exposed live parts on the medium voltage buswork and eliminate risks related to animal interference and blowing debris.

It also included environmentally friendly oils and passive and automatic fire suppression systems to prevent substation fires.

“This new One Energy substation was built faster, is less expensive, and is going to be more reliable than a similar sized substation that could be built by any utility in the U.S.,” said Jon Wellinghoff, the former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee and One Energy board member.

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