To protect the environment, our oil-bearing plants are equipped with oil-impermeable catchment and protection systems and are regularly inspected. Soil and water pollution is thus effectively prevented in the event of an incident at the plant. In environmentally sensitive areas, we have been using Ester-filled transformers during transformer replacements for years. In contrast to mineral oils, Ester is only generally hazardous to water.
Conventional transformers in which mineral oil is used as an insulating and cooling agent are not permitted, for example, in water protection areas or in areas with increased fire protection requirements. EnBW has been investigating the use of transformers in which vegetable oil was used as an insulating agent since 2010. In June 2016, the EnBW subsidiary Netze BW started a major field test in which 102 of its stations in Baden-Württemberg were equipped with "eco-transformers" containing vegetable oil instead of mineral oil. In total, our subsidiary Netze BW operates around 26,500 local network transformers, which convert electricity from medium voltage to the low voltage commonly used in households and businesses.