New Orleans, LA | Sep. 11-14

On September 13, Jake Woodard with Beta Engineering and Vaibhav Singh with Hitachi Energy will be co-presenting a white paper at this year's IEEE PCIC conference.

Improving the Bottom Line - How Gas-Insulated Substations Can Offer Operational and Maintenance Cost Savings


To avoid production downtime, petrochemical facilities need reliable infrastructure. Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) can often offer counterintuitive cost-effective solutions for petrochemical facilities that are considering new substation construction or upgrades to existing substations. Obstacles such as higher initial capital investment, lack of GIS operation and maintenance expertise, and sulfur hexafluoride gas (SF6) emissions concerns can prevent facilities from pursuing this option despite potential long-term savings. This paper offers solutions to these common roadblocks and presents several benefits that positively impact a facility’s bottom line. The paper explores long-term maintenance costs for GIS substations versus air-insulated substations; the lower costs of depreciation over a GIS substation’s longer useful life; and the greater reliability of GIS substations. Additional considerations that can impact operational and maintenance costs include reduced safety risks for personnel and enhanced equipment protection in high contamination environments. Installing modular GIS assemblies can also reduce construction time, minimizing potential disruptions to plant operations. Additionally, the historically predominant SF6 gas insulating medium, whose use is rapidly becoming more heavily regulated due to its environmental impact, is no longer the only option for GIS builds. New alternative insulation gas mixtures can eliminate the use of SF6 gas, helping facilities meet environmental sustainability goals.

Index Terms — Substation Reliability, Gas-Insulated Switchgear (GIS), Air-Insulated Switchgear (AIS)

Author & Presenter Bios

Lead Author: George Brashear, PE, is Executive Vice President of Beta Engineering. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. He started at Beta Engineering in 1995 as a project engineer and has been executive vice president since 2012. He is a member of IEEE and is a registered professional engineer in Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Author & Presenter: Vaibhav Singh is Head of Sales - GIS North America for Hitachi Energy. He graduated from Kurukshetra University in 2001 with a degree in Engineering, Control and Instrumentation. In 2013, he earned his MBA from the Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University. Vaibhav joined Hitachi Energy (previously ABB) in 2009 and has been Head of Sales – GIS North America for Hitachi Energy since 2022. He is a member of IEEE.

Presenter: Jake Woodard, PMP, is Vice President of EPC Operations for Beta Engineering. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Engineering Technology from Louisiana Tech University and is a certified Project Management Professional. Jake has been working in the high-voltage industry since 2015 and has extensive project management experience. He started at Beta as a Project Coordinator, became a Project Manager in 2016, Manager of Project Management in 2018, and Director of Project Management in 2019 before starting his current role as Vice President of EPC Operations in 2021.

View Conference Schedule


We look forward to seeing you at the conference! Let us know via the contact form below if you are interested in meeting during the conference or after hours or would like to request of a copy of the white paper.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.