FIMA upgrades power substations in Kaišiadorys and Jonava

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The intelligent engineering solutions company, FIMA, will reconstruct control and communication systems at 14 power substations in the Kaišiadorys and Jonava districts as part of the substations modernisation project which has been undertaken since 2010 on behalf of Lithuania's power distribution network operator, LESTO. Upgrading of substations in the districts  in the Kaunas region is scheduled to be completed in June 2015. The new advanced systems will ensure faster reporting and finding of malfunctions in the electrical grid. Staff will be able to remedy faults faster so that power supply to residential consumers can be resumed much more promptly.

LESTO serves 1,609,000 customers across Lithuania and runs a total of 930 110/35 kV transformer substations and distribution points. These have been extensively upgraded  since 2000 with up-to-date control and communication systems being introduced. This will allow  the substations to be integrated into a single dispatching network which is planned to be installed in 2018 with a view to optimising LESTO's performance. The substations in the Jonava and Kaišiadorys districts are the last ones to be upgraded.

FIMA has been working to upgrade Lithuanian substations and to update their communication system since 2006 while LESTO has been renovating its substations since 2010. Over this period FIMA has already upgraded LESTO's substations in Šilalė, Kėdainiai, Rokiškis, Prienai, Pakruojis and Vilnius and will soon finish installing power substations control systems and a data transmission network in Kaunas city and district. When you add all the modernisation work currently being carried out by FIMA and that already completed since 2010, the control system hardware that the company will have installed at the substations and distribution points will account for about 11 per cent of all tele-information collection and transmission hardware operated by LESTO.

"Improving efficiency of customer service and introducing state-of-the-art technology are the priorities of our long-term strategy until 2020. This means that renovation of power substations is part of a long-term plan. The substations are being equipped with advanced and reliable SCADA control and communication systems. Systems of the same type will also be installed in the Kaišiadorys and Jonava substations during this year and in 2015 to be completed by June. Once this work is complete, the upgraded substations will become the foundation of a single dispatching centre planned to be introduced in the near future," the director of LESTO’s Substation Operation Department, Ligitas Bernatavičius, said.

According to FIMA's project manager, Valentas Titarenka, the old control and communication systems used at the Jonava and KaIšiadorys substations date back to the Soviet era and have prevented the prompt reporting of power malfunctions to dispatchers, which results in delayed detection and location of electrical grid faults. Repair of faults has also been taking too long. "Once upgraded, the substations will be ready to be integrated with LESTO's planned single dispatching system. It will help to control electrical grid remotely in a centralised way, to distribute resources more efficiently and to ensure quality power supply to consumers," he explained.

SCADA control system is one of the central engineering systems in infrastructure projects which collects and analyses network information and is used by the majority of power, water and gas suppliers in Lithuania and around the world. "SCADA automated control and communication systems integrate data collection, display and control processes and ensure prompt data transmission. Once installed, these advanced systems will ensure regular monitoring and diagnostics of the electrical grid and will improve network performance and security," Mr Titarenka said.

According to the director of LESTO's Substation Operation Department, Ligitas Bernatavičius, operation of the already upgraded substations has become much more efficient and far less costly for the power distribution company. Improved performance will stay on the company's priority list in the year to come whereas cost optimisation will mean that a sufficient level of investment in electrical grid renovation and modernisation can be maintained.