The international arm of power and automation technology group ABB Australia has won an order from the German transmission grid operator Transpower worth $700 million.
ABB will supply the operator with an 800-megawatt (MW) power link, connecting more offshore wind farms in the DolWin1cluster, located in the North Sea to the mainland German grid.
The innovative and environmentally friendly HVDC Light high-voltage direct current transmission technology will be deployed to transmit power from the 400 MW Borkum West II wind farm and other wind farms in development 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.
At 320 kilovolts, this will be the highest voltage level of extruded cable ever used for HVDC, and is the largest power transmission order in ABB’s history. 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.
Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division says that offshore wind power is becoming a key source of large scale renewable energy, and is making a vital contribution to lower the environmental impact of energy acquisition.
“ABB has state-of-the-art transmission technologies for integrating renewable energy sources efficiently and ensuring grid reliability and stability,” he says.
HVDC Light transmission systems offer numerous environmental benefits, such as neutral electromagnetic fields, oil-free cables and compact converter stations.
By overcoming distance limitations and grid constraints while ensuring solid performance and minimal electrical losses, the system is an reliable solution for connecting remote offshore wind farms to mainland networks.
The network of offshore wind farms is scheduled to be operational in 2013, and is expected to avoid three million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by replacing fossil-fuel based generation.
This is the second HVDC Light offshore wind connection supplied by ABB in Germany, the first being the BorWin1 project, the most remote offshore wind farm in the world.
Germany currently meets about eight percent of its electricity requirements with wind power and expects to double that by 2020.