Alpine Energy Mobile Substation (AEL MS)


Alpine Energy

The Project

The Alpine Mobile Substation (AEL MS) project involved design and construction of a 33/11 kV mobile substation for use on the Alpine Network. ElectroNet undertook both the design and construction of the mobile substation and commissioned the unit on the Alpine Network. This was the 3rd mobile substation constructed by ElectroNet.


$ 1.5M (Design, Construction)

Key Dates

Commenced: November 2013
Completed: August 2014

Innovation and Collaboration

In addition to the design and construction of the mobile substation ElectroNet also designed and constructed a container workshop. The container included a hydraulic cable reel used to deploy and retract cables. The container also housed fibreglass fencing which reduced the deployment time and negated the need to apply earthing.

Technical Complexity

The 10 MVA, fully self-contained unit was developed in conjunction with Alpine and ElectroNet was responsible for all aspects of Design, Procurement, Project Management and Construction. Individual scopes were produced for all aspects of the build to ensure that Alpine and Suppliers understood what was required and what was being delivered.

Viper 33 and 11 kV circuit breakers were installed allowing the substation to be connected via cables rather than OH lines. This provided Alpine with the flexibility of installing the mobile substation in various areas around the host substation and made the connection to the grid easier. The breakers were fitted with a remote opening and closing device which allowed the operator to operate the breakers without being inside the switch room.

The use of lightweight fibreglass fencing also made the deployment faster and meant that the fencing did not need to be earthed to the host substation earth mat.

Installing the cable reel in the container workshop ensured that the trailer was not overweight and therefore did not require permits during road movement. The cable reel was fitted with a variable speed electric powered hydraulic motor which made removing and gathering cables easier and reduced the number of site personnel.

The project required significant co-ordination between a number of different construction subcontractors and design teams and the early engagement of design and construction personnel ensured that a number of construction issues were overcome at the early stages of design and build.


Excellent communication between all parties across the planning, design and construction phases was key to full delivery against all client requirements. In addition to this, early engagement of the build contractors ensured potential issues were overcome before the build started.

Considerable time was spent in meeting and communicating with all stakeholders to firm up the requirements. Communication was key to keep everybody up to date and informed of any issues that arose during the project and the design interfaces were managed.

Having successfully completed the construction AEL MS was commissioned successfully at the Farlie Substation.