By Isabella Kaminski
Power and automation technology group ABB has secured an order worth approximately US$1 billion (£610m) from the Dutch-German transmission grid operator TenneT to supply a power link connecting offshore North Sea wind farms to the German mainland grid.
According to ABB, the link will deploy the world’s largest offshore HVDC (high-voltage direct current) system with a rating of over 900 MW, keeping electrical losses to less than 1% per converter station.
The completed link will be capable of supplying more than 1.5 million households with electricity and is scheduled to be operational in 2015.
ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the offshore platform, the offshore and onshore converter stations and the land and sea cable systems. ABB's HVDC Light transmission technology will transport power from the 400 MW Gode Wind II and other wind farms to an offshore HVDC converter station, which will transmit the electricity to the onshore HVDC station at Dörpen on the German coast via 135 km of underwater and underground cables. A converter station here will feed electricity into the mainland grid.
Peter Leupp, Head of ABB’s Power Systems, says: “Offshore wind power is emerging as a major source of large-scale renewable energy in Europe to help meet emission targets and lower environmental impact. ABB is uniquely positioned with in-house manufacturing capability of converter stations, cables and semiconductors, the essential components of HVDC systems, and has invested significantly in these technologies."
This is ABB’s third offshore wind connection in Germany, following the 800 MW Dolwin1 link awarded last year and the BorWin1 project.