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IoT World Forum 2016
IoT World Forum 2016

ABB to connect Norwegian and German power grids

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ABB has won orders worth around $900 million from a consortium comprising leading utilities Statnett and TenneT as well as promotional bank KfW to supply on-shore high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations and the cable system in the German sector that will facilitate the first ever interconnection between the Norwegian and German power grids. The link will be 623 kilometers (km) long, making it the longest HVDC connection in Europe. It is scheduled to go into commercial operation in 2020. The contract also includes a five-year service agreement.

“We are very pleased to be working with TenneT and Statnett on another landmark project that will support the integration of the European energy market. The smart combination of renewable power generation, e.g. solar and wind in Germany and hydro-electric in Norway, demonstrates that we can technologically enable a sustainable green energy policy across Europe,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “This order underlines ABB’s technology leadership in HVDC and is another milestone in restoring our Power Systems division to a path of long-term growth and profitability.”

NordLink will be key in connecting Norway with Germany and has been designated as one of the European Commission’s projects of common interest to help create an integrated European Union energy market. It will increase energy security in both countries and support the integration of renewable energy into the countries’ grids by allowing surplus wind and solar power produced in Germany to be transmitted to Norway, and hydroelectric power to be transmitted in the opposite direction. The link will transmit power at a record capacity of 1,400 MW, which is enough to supply 3.6 million German households.

“The NordLink project once again demonstrates ABB’s commitment to the efficient use of renewables; we are bringing clean power to millions of people and supporting the energy policies of Germany and Norway,” said Claudio Facchin, President, ABB Power Systems division. “We pioneered HVDC technology and continue to develop new technologies that make projects like NordLink feasible.”

ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission two 525 kilovolt (kV), 1,400 MW converter stations, using its Voltage Sourced Converter (VSC) technology, called HVDC Light®. One station will be situated near Tonstad in southern Norway and the other near Wilster in northern Germany.

As part of the project, ABB will also design, manufacture and install a 525 kV mass impregnated (MI) cable system in the German sector, which will include 154 km of subsea and 54 km of underground cable.

ABB has been awarded about 100 HVDC projects since it pioneered the technology 60 years ago. That represents a total installed capacity of more than 120,000 MW and accounts for about half the global installed base. ABB further developed the technology in the 1990s by introducing VSC-HVDC, named HVDC Light®. ABB leads the way in VSC technology and, with the recently commissioned Skagerrak 4 link, has delivered 15 out of 18 such projects that are in commercial operation around the world. ABB has more than a century of power cable expertise and has been awarded orders for over 8,300 km of HVDC cables. ABB is the only supplier that can deliver both MI and extruded at 525 kV voltage level.