Refurbishment of the Sorvilier substation

A win for nature and reliable electricity distribution

The Sorvilier substation is a central electricity supply hub in the Bernese Jura. Its modernisation will ensure the continued reliable distribution of electricity in the region.


  • Project planning and implementation in the area of plant and line construction in accordance with SIA phases.
  • Construction of a new building, incl. five new transformer stands.
  • Installation and commissioning of three GIS switchgears (132kV, 50kV, 16kV), for 4 transformers (132/50kV, 50/16kV) and
    one earth fault compensation unit (50kV), incl. the related infrastructure, such as auxiliary power supply, protection and control technology, ripple control and transmission technology.
  • Professional dismantling of the old systems, incl. sustainable environmental work to reclaim green spaces.
Christian Böhme, Network System Manager, BKW Power Grid
«With the refurbishment of the Sorvilier substation we are ensuring the quality of supply in the region over the long term.»
Christian Böhme, Network System Manager, BKW Power Grid


Construction type

Network and plant construction

Contruction style

New construction


Network infrastructure

Carried work

Project planning and execution for plant and line construction, installation and commissioning of GIS switchgears, transformers and earth fault compensation unit

Project manager

Christian Böhme, Network System Manager, BKW Power Grid; Philipp Schärf, Project Manager, plant construction, BKW Engineering


BKW Power Grid

Installation cost

CHF 15.3 million

Key figures

  • Reliable distribution of electricity for 5,000 households
  • Reduction of the required space by 75%

Project description

BKW Power Grid invests in network infrastructure for sustainable living spaces. It spent CHF 15 million to refurbish the Sorvilier substation in the Bernese Jura to ensure reliable electricity distribution in the coming years.

The new 132 kV, 50 kV and 16 kV gas-insulated switchgears (GIS) replace the previous open-air switchgear. They were installed on a surface of 400 square metres as an indoor system in a new building. Four new transformers were also commissioned. The compact design provides more room for nature.

One challenge was coordinating the 22 companies involved in this project. “We constantly had to make changes at short notice. We managed thanks to the expertise and commitment of our employees,” says Christian Böhme, Network System Manager at BKW Power Grid.

With the refurbishment of the Sorvilier substation, the Bernese Jura has one of the most modern substations in the BKW grid area.

«The expertise of the project participants led to pragmatic and creative solutions, which contributed greatly to the success of the project.»
Christian Böhme, Network System Manager, BKW Power Grid

It was clear that the interplay of standardisation and flexibility created added value. These experiences will be incorporated in future projects.