Case study: Europacity

Stromnetz Berlin is a Vattenfall company which runs the grid in Berlin. Stromnetz and its predecessors have managed Berlins 36,000 km energy grid for over 130 years. Today, Berlin's energy grid is among the most reliable in Europe.

Europacity is a 61 hectare mixed-use development in central Berlin. With approximately 40 separate building projects, 3,000 new apartments, numerous offices, and facilities for the 16,500 people who will work there, Europacity has a vast electrical demand.

To cater for the increasing energy requirements Stromnetz invested £32 million in a new substation and electrical infrastructure between 2014 and 2017.

The main goals of the project were to meet the increased demand, improve security of supply, and to enhance network stability by decreasing loads in neighbouring network areas, within the prescribed budget and time plan.

At the heart of the project, Stromnetz installed a new substation (UW Sellerstrasse) to provide electricity to around 19,000 households and 3,000 business customers.

At its core UW Sellerstrasse incorporates some highly space-efficient, gas-insulated 110kV high voltage switchgear and an airtight 10kV switchgear to provide a guaranteed 63 MVA. The other elements of the project included a 10 kV cable to connect the substation, optimisation of the mid-voltage, low-voltage and auxiliary networks, plus monitoring and automatic switching technologies.

The automated switching and control technologies enable the employees at the grid control centre, which is staffed around the clock, to have a permanent overview of the grid situation in the substation's coverage area. 

If required, they can intervene from afar providing residents of Europacity with less power failures and very short recovery times if the power does ever fail. The new substation also helps to provide relief to adjacent network areas by distributing the network load and adapting the network area boundaries. By restructuring the 110 kV distribution network, including the multi-feed of the substation Schäfersee, Berlin’s grid is now more resilient than ever before. 

Dr Helmar Rendez, Chairman of the Management Board at Stromnetz Berlin GmbH, explains:

"Nothing can function in the new Europacity district without electricity. This is why a separate substation is so important to the development of this district in the heart of Berlin. This new construction means that we can ensure a safe and reliable electricity supply from day one."

Neighbouring networks include industrial companies such as Siemens and Bayer Schering that are large electricity consumers and although they will be supplied by other substations in the city, the new building will provide them with more security. In case of possible power outages, these companies can easily switch to the new plant, providing them with increased reliability of supply and decreased risk to their businesses.


  • Meet increased demand
  • Increase security of supply
  • Improve network stability by decreasing loads in neighbouring network areas


  • New electrical supply for 19,000 households and 3,000 business customers
  • Less power failures and very short recovery times
  • Load relief to adjacent network areas
  • Increased reliability of supply and decreased risk to local businesses



£32 million


2014 – 2017


See also

ICP update

Vattenfall works in partnership with Independent Connection Providers (ICPs) by providing asset adoption offers that help win projects

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The future is electrification

The journey to fossil free energy will see the phasing out of gas in favour of all electric sites powered by renewables.

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Low carbon housing

IDNOs offer Housing Associations and Local Authorities a route to lower cost, lower carbon homes.

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