Siemens’ Digital Substation with Electromagnetic Pulse Mitigation Adds Resiliency to CenterPoint Energy Grid Operations


Thursday, October 24, 2019 9:51 am EDT



Siemens today announced that the SIPROTEC digital substation with electromagnetic pulse mitigation (EMP) technology has been deployed at a CenterPoint Energy substation to add resiliency and continuity to grid operations.

Utility substations are integral components of the power grids. As they connect differing voltage levels, their controlling and coordinating functions are vitally important to the stability, sustainability, and reliability of the entire system. Hazards such as weather events, flooding, EMP disturbances (either naturally-occurring or human-initiated), and other high-impact yet low-frequency events can negatively affect substation operations.

Siemens’ digital substation with EMP technology, which has been developed in collaboration with CenterPoint Energy and deployed in a substation control house, is shielded from these various hazards, including EMP, for a low-risk, cost-effective solution to address these inherent risks to grid operations.

“EMP has long been known in the utility industry as a potential threat to infrastructure,” says Martin Narendorf, CenterPoint Energy’s Vice President of High Voltage Operations. “EMP disturbances are another category our industry is working to address for a number of reasons, but especially because our customers expect high reliability in their electric service. CenterPoint Energy’s brand promise is ‘Always There,‘ and we work hard to maintain continuous operations.”

In some cases, utility infrastructure has been built over hundreds of years, which can make hardening it against potential threats like EMP a time-consuming and costly endeavor.

“This technology meets EMP hardening levels in a repeatable, scalable, and cost-effective manner,” says Eric Easton, Director of Real-Time Operations for CenterPoint Energy. “Existing substations can be retrofit rapidly with the digital substation with EMP mitigation because of its compact footprint, modular concept, and extensive system-level performance testing.“

Installed in a substation control house, Siemens’ digital substation with EMP mitigation effectively remains in standby mode, monitoring the same circuits, voltage data, and operations as the main substation protective devices. In the event of an EMP exposure, the digital substation will take over the control and protection functions to maintain continuity when the main protection becomes compromised or damaged. 

“Thanks to our work with CenterPoint Energy, we have a tested and certified digital substation solution working in the field today,” says Rafael Ozaki, Business Unit Head for Digital Grid at Siemens Smart Infrastructure USA. “This solution addresses EMP risk and provides a hardened control and protection solution for utilities across the U.S. and globally.”

Learn more about Siemens’ digital substation technology here.


SIPROTEC is a registered trademark of Siemens and/or its affiliates in some countries.


About Siemens

Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI) is shaping the market for intelligent, adaptive infrastructure for today and the future. It addresses the pressing challenges of urbanization and climate change by connecting energy systems, buildings and industries. SI provides customers with a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio from a single source – with products, systems, solutions and services from the point of power generation all the way to consumption. With an increasingly digitalized ecosystem, it helps customers thrive and communities progress while contributing toward protecting the planet. SI creates environments that care. With around 71,000 employees worldwide, Siemens Smart Infrastructure has its global headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, and its U.S. corporate headquarters in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, USA.

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed company Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. For more than 160 years, the company has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure. In fiscal 2018, Siemens USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.


Siemens Contact for Journalists               

Allison Britt