Introducing the ‘Substations of the Future’ competition
Could tomorrow’s substation or converter station be functional, beautiful, and sustainable? Share your vision with us!
As an energy industry, it is now a given that we must leave the environment around critical infrastructure in an equivalent or better state to the one in which we found it. However, we can do more, we will do better, and we need your help to explore how we can achieve both an improved major infrastructure system and an enhanced environment.
The ‘Substations of the Future’ competition has been launched by Hitachi Energy in the UK alongside judging partners National Grid, SSE, and UK Power Networks, to stimulate fresh thinking about the role of energy infrastructure in our natural environment.
Our competition invites entrants to apply diversity of thought and perception to a substation or converter station, considering how such infrastructure can be functional, beautiful, and sustainable at the same time. How could such a structure exist in consort with its environment and add to the ecosystem, not detracting from it?
There are endless options to consider, from restoring habitats for wildlife whilst disguising the visual impact of the substation or maybe it could be providing a system for enhanced soil stability whilst reducing the noise impact of a transformer?
We would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and designs.
How to get involved?
The ‘Substations of the Future’ competition is open to anyone in the UK aged 16 to 26 either actively studying or interested in the disciplines of environmental science, architecture, art & design, or sustainability.
Entries can be submitted on an individual or team (up to 4 people) basis.
Entries should be made in one of three design categories:
The competition opens on 10th March and closes on 31st October.
For full terms and conditions of entry please click here
The competition guidelines provide entrants with details of key engineered and operational characteristics of a generic substation design with standard equipment for transmission and distribution found across the world. The competition is not specific to a project.
We invite you to share your ideas about how to blend the transmission and distribution equipment into one of the three environments appropriately, so that the location is left in a better condition than it was before the infrastructure was developed.
The entries will need to demonstrate the following:
- Community delight
- Enhancing built environment
- End of Life Recycling/Circular economy
- Direct net gain
- Flora and fauna
- Soil and water quality
Entrants should present a 3D model, video, or artist’s impression, along with a 500-word summary in English and written science-based evidence or references to support the design criteria aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
Goal 9 – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
Goal 12 – Ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns.
Goal 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
Each category - suburban, coastal and rural - has a first and second place which can be awarded to an individual or a team.
1st place: £3000
2nd place: £2000
We also expect to offer Summer placements during 2022 at one or more of the associated judging partner companies.
Firstly click the register now button at the top of the page so we can keep you up to date with information on the competition and also to register your interest in a summer placement with Hitachi Energy or our judging partners.
You will be able to submit your entry from 10th March 2022. Send your completed entries by clicking here or send a hard copy via post to:
SotF c/o Hitachi Energy
Oulton Rd, Stone
ALL entries must be received by 18:00 on 31st October 2022.
Substations of the Future competition
Register to enter the competition