The worldwide use of gas insulated switchgear (GIS) in substation applications has been around since the 1960s and is becoming an increasingly popular asset for substation construction. Utilities, municipalities and other non-utility generators are discovering the many advantages of GIS.
According to a 2016 transparency market research report, GIS growth is expected to increase significantly over the next several years. Rising infrastructure and population growth are a few driving factors behind the rise of GIS. Besides these factors, the advantages of GIS over traditional AIS play a role in the growth of gas insulated substations.
We’ll take a look below at these elements that contribute to the increase in GIS.
As we’ve discussed in previous posts, the benefits of GIS are numerous. They are reliable, flexible and economical. These benefits are a few factors that drive the GIS market.
It’s true that GIS equipment is initially more expensive than AIS equipment. However, consideration of life cycle costs shows that GIS is less expensive and provides higher performance. Life cycle costs include equipment, land, site development, operating and maintenance costs and forced outage costs. This is why it’s necessary to look at more than just the upfront costs by factoring in other expenses over the lifespan of the equipment. This economical factor boosts the appeal of GIS even further.
Another major factor that is contributing to GIS growth is increasing urbanization. With growing space constraints in densely populated urban regions, utilities are looking toward GIS. Not only can it be fitted into an existing building or underground, but it only uses about 10% of the space compared to its AIS counterpart.
According to a recent report on the GIS market, the global gas insulated substation market is expected to grow from an estimated $14.75 billion to $35.83 billion by 2024. Infrastructure and transportation are the two industries in particular driving GIS growth. In the U.S., upgrades to the aging transmission network are also driving the GIS market. The high voltage GIS segment has the largest market share.
As more electric power goes online and the power grid continues to undergo modernization, GIS seems poised for continued growth.
Beta Engineering has performed numerous GIS projects around the country, including the very first underground electric substation in the United States. Because the substation is located in a densely populated residential area, the subterranean GIS substation is camouflaged as a neighborhood park.
Beta’s EPC experience helps facilitate these GIS projects as well as other high voltage projects across the country. Browse our portfolio and contact Beta today to discuss your next substation or high-voltage project.