Transformer upgrade for Polish hydropower plant

Poland’s second-largest hydropower plant is to receive a transformer upgrade.

Rotating equipment service firm EthosEnergy’s Poland branch has won a turnkey contract for the design, manufacture, transport and assembly of four 150 MVA 242/13.8 kV generator step-up and two 6 MVA 13.8/6 kV auxiliary transformers for the 500 MW Porąbka-Żar hydropower plant.  

In addition to replacing the transformers, EthosEnergy said the project includes upgrading the facility’s control and protection systems and designing a new water cooling system for the transformers. An anti-explosion transformer protection system, the first of its kind in Poland, will also be installed.  

Porąbka-Żar, which came online in 1979, features four 125 MV Francis hydraulic turbines located 500 metres underground. It is Poland’s only underground power plant and receives thousands of visitors per year.  

The plant features a head of 440 metres and can start up within 180 seconds. Its pumped storage capacity is used for balancing and backup power.

EthosEnergy was formed in 2014 as a joint venture between the Wood Group’s Gas Turbine Services division and Siemens’ Energy Service Turbocare unit.  

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