National Grid selects Siemens to help deploy new digital substation standards


Wednesday, February 1, 2017 11:10 am EST


San Diego, CA

National Grid, one of the world’s largest energy companies, has selected Siemens to provide technology to help deploy the IEC 61850 digital design standards for its bulk transmission substations.

IEC 61850 standardizes the method of communication and integration of intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) within a substation, enabling IEDs from different manufacturers to exchange digital information with each other. IEC 61850 technology enables compatibility with older versions of substation protection and control equipment to become compatible and highly standardized and interoperable among different vendors’ equipment.

“IEC 61850 will deliver a host of benefits that will enable us to work more safely and efficiently while reducing costs for customers,” said Rudy Wynter, president and COO of National Grid, FERC-Regulated Businesses and its New Energy Solutions group.  “In many cases our current employees are intimately familiar with our facilities and even individual pieces of equipment.  As new employees come on board, IEC 61850 will enable us to move to a process-driven approach that should be highly effective.”

Siemens’ grid automation software and hardware technology will enable National Grid’s substation automation systems to communicate with one another via a fiber optic network rather than miles of copper cable, which allows for a reduction in the size of the substation footprint.  This can be a significant benefit when new construction is required in densely populated areas. The digital substation technology is based on standardized design, allowing National Grid to increase safety and reduce cost, while improving flexibility and availability.

“This project demonstrates our unique capabilities to deliver innovative solutions for digital grid applications that help our customers thrive in today’s changing energy landscape,” said Mike Carlson, president of Siemens Digital Grid in North America. “We are proud to provide National Grid with a flexible, digital solution to make their grid systems more intelligent, reliable, and efficient.”

National Grid initially will upgrade three of its bulk transmission substations to the new technology.  Any new bulk power substations will be built with the new technology and eventually all of the company’s bulk transmission stations will be retrofitted to the IEC 61850 standard. Siemens will also work with National Grid on training and development programs, combining engineering know-how with knowledge of the international IEC 61850 power standards. 

This new initiative expands Siemens’ existing work with National Grid, which includes a recent electric substation project in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Siemens provided arc-resistant switchgear technology that increases safety conditions for workers and operators and allows National Grid to reduce the project’s physical footprint, resulting in significant project cost savings.

Siemens Digital Grid partners with leading utilities and industrial energy consumers worldwide to provide expertise and innovative technologies. In North America, Digital Grid has worked with more than 1,000 energy customers to deliver proven solutions and services that improve operational efficiencies, enhance reliability and resiliency, and empower consumers to better manage their energy use.

To learn more about Siemens Digital Grid technologies, please see

DistribuTECH 2017 attendees are invited to visit Siemens in booth 3113.


Contacts for journalists

Annie Satow, Siemens

Phone: 202-344-5532; E-mail:

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Jackie Barry, National Grid

Phone: 781-907-1754; Email:

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Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 351,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $88.1 billion in fiscal 2016. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.4 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.