The Romanel substation is one of the oldest in French-speaking Switzerland. What can you tell us about it?
After the First World War, companies distributed electricity in the region and there were sometimes supply problems. The main producers (including the city of Lausanne) came together to form Energie Ouest Suisse (EOS) and build an electricity transmission line between Saint-Maurice in Valais and Pierre-de-Plan in Lausanne. This line was commissioned on 13 September 1920. Lausanne also supplied electricity to Geneva and the vallée de Joux – thus, the first grid was born. In the 1920s, the general public developed a healthy appetite for electricity, as everyone wanted lighting, hot water and electric hobs.
In 1934, the 125 kV substation was built in Romanel
To the south, on the Blécherette side, SiL dismantled the old 220/125 kV transformers to construct a new building. Since 2018, it has housed two new 220/125 kV transformers. These transformers are the physical link between the Swissgrid transmission grid and the SiL distribution grid. In addition, there is a gas-insulated 125 kV switching station, two 125 kV/medium-voltage transformers and a medium-voltage switching station (11 kV). The Romanel substation is now ready to fulfil its role as the electricity hub for the Lake Geneva region.
It is worth mentioning that no accidents were reported during construction. The excellent collaboration between the various project partners certainly contributed to this.
The work to modernise the substation is now complete. What were the highlights of the project?
A stand-out moment was when the two 220/125 kV electrical transformers arrived in November 2016. Each of them was delivered separately by a 60-metre long vehicle with a total weight of 327 tonnes, which crossed Lausanne’s city centre at night to avoid disrupting the traffic too much. It was quite a sight!