ABB reports that it has won an order worth around $700
million from the German transmission grid operator, Transpower, to supply an
800-megawatt (MW) power link to connect more offshore wind farms to the mainland German grid.
ABB will deploy its HVDC Light (high-voltage direct current) transmission technology to
transmit power from the 400 MW Borkum West II wind farm and other wind farms to
be developed nearby. The wind farms will be connected to an offshore HVDC
converter station which will transmit electricity to the onshore HVDC station at
Dörpen, on the northwest coast of Germany via 165 km of underwater and
underground DC cables. The Dörpen/West converter station will in turn feed AC
power to the mainland grid.
According to ABB, this is the largest power transmission order in the company's
history. And at 320-kilovolts, this project also marks the highest voltage level of extruded
cable ever used for HVDC.
ABB will be responsible for system engineering,
including design, supply and installation of the offshore platform, the offshore
and onshore converter stations, and will also supply and install the sea and
land cable systems.
Environmentally positive attributes of HVDC that led to its selection for this project include: neutral electromagnetic fields, oil-free cables
and compact converter stations.
Scheduled to be operational in 2013, this network of
offshore wind farms is expected to avoid three million tons of carbon dioxide
emissions per year by replacing fossil-fuel based generation. Germany currently
meets about 8 percent of its electricity requirements with wind power and
expects to double that by 2020.
This is the second HVDC Light offshore wind
connection supplied by ABB in Germany, the first being the BorWin1 project, reportedly the
most remote offshore wind farm in the world.
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