“This is where the country’s electrical highways come together and then branch out to those that require energy at any time,” says Fingrid’s CEO & President Jukka Ruusunen as he describes the new Länsisalmi substation.
The transmission capacity of the substation built in 1994 has now been increased to meet the capital region’s growing electricity consumption, which also fluctuates a lot depending on the season. The new substation has two 400 kV transformers and 400 kV transmission line connections to the Tammisto and Anttila substations.
The project also included construction of a completely new switchyard and buildings as well as a 50-meter high landscape portal from which the transmission lines connect to the substation. The renewal project was carried out during 2016–2017.
Reliable electricity transmission for 800,000 end customers
This was a very important project for Fingrid. Along with Tammisto, Länsisalmi is one of the capital region’s foundations for feeding electricity to the grids in Helsinki and Vantaa. Länsisalmi and Tammisto are connected to the Helen Sähköverkko Oy and Vantaan Energia Sähköverkot Oy grids, which distribute electricity to 800,000 residents in the region.
“Everything has to work flawlessly. The capital region must have a reliable supply of electricity now and in the future,” outlines Ruusunen.
The advanced technology and increased power at the new substation also improve system security in disturbance situations. If one of the four connections is unavailable due to a fault or service, electricity transmission will continue normally via the other three connections without any visible problems. If necessary, the Länsisalmi substation has enough power to cover the electricity needs of Helsinki and Vantaa. The fully automated substation is monitored from Fingrid’s Main Grid Control Centre.
An option to continue the main grid all the way to Helsinki
Development of energy supply in the capital region was also taken into consideration in the construction phase of Länsisalmi substation. According to Ruusunen, Fingrid plans to build a high-power underground electricity transmission connection between Länsisalmi and the Viikinmäki substation in Helsinki at the end of the next decade.
Since Helsinki does not invest in its own electricity production, an increasing amount of the electricity needed by city residents will be produced outside Helsinki in the future and then transmitted to users in Fingrid’s main grid.
A great landmark in Vantaa
Länsisalmi substation has a central location beside Ring Road 3 and the Porvoo motorway. Its high visibility site inspired the decision to build an interesting and memorable landmark. In addition to building the soaring arched landscape portal, the building facades were covered with glass panels that are lit up at night. This means that the architecture creates visible electricity.
The unique appearance of the substation has been praised by city residents, and it received the City of Vantaa’s Kehäkukka architectural prize. Bratislav Toskovic from Parviainen Arkkitehdit Oy was responsible for the design.
“Länsisalmi substation is an example of how essential technical functions can be implemented with high-quality architecture. The end result is a delight to residents in the area and people who are passing by. Länsisalmi substation is a wonderful landmark for Vantaa,” says a delighted Ritva Viljanen, who is the Mayor of Vantaa.
Video of the Länsisalmi-project. 21 months in two minutes.