The new Swissgrid and SiL facilities at the Romanel electrical substation are now in operation, contributing to supply security in French-speaking Switzerland and the stability of the power grid.
Launched by Swissgrid in 2011, this major project has profoundly changed the appearance of the site. The former 220 kV overhead switching station has been replaced by two new buildings: one houses the new 380/220 kV transformer and a 380 kV gas-insulated (GIS) switching station commissioned at the end of 2017. The second includes a 220 kV GIS switching station, which went into operation in 2015. In addition, the Bois-Tollot – Chamoson extra-high-voltage line, which previously ran above the substation, has been connected to these new facilities, providing greater stability to the electricity transmission grid.
In part of the space left empty by the old overhead station, SiL began construction in 2016 of a new building protecting a 125 kV metal-clad substation, two 220/125 kV transformers, two 125 kV / medium-voltage transformers and a medium-voltage switching station. These facilities have been in service since 2018. The work was carried out without any interruption to the electricity supply.
Integration into the surrounding environment
Particular attention was paid to the architecture of the buildings and the exterior fittings in order to integrate the new facilities as well as possible into the surrounding environment. The colour of all the buildings was harmonised and the roofs greened. Special care was taken with the exterior layout, including the creation of two retention basins that form a pond and a wetland. The creation of this biotope encourages the development of local flora and fauna. A flowery meadow sown with native plants covers a large part of the plot, dotted with woods, rocks and hedges in order to preserve biodiversity.
In service since the 1930s
The history of the Romanel substation is intimately linked to the development of the Lake Geneva region. It was built in 1934 to connect the Lausanne region to the grid operated by EOS (Energie Ouest Suisse). This company had been established in the 1920s to bring together the various local electricity producers (including the city of Lausanne) and had built the first high-voltage line as well as a transmission line between Saint-Maurice and Pierre-de-Plan in Lausanne.
The Romanel substation is currently of considerable importance to the region. These new facilities are intended to guarantee and increase the security of the electricity supply to the Lake Geneva region.