Zurich -- ABB has won an order worth around $1 billion from the Dutch-German transmission grid operator TenneT to supply a power link connecting offshore North Sea wind farms to the German mainland grid.
This is the largest power transmission order in ABB's history. It will deploy the world's largest offshore HVDC (high-voltage direct current) system with a rating of over 900 megawatts (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 clean wind-generated electricity.
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 innovative and environmentally friendly 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 kilometers of underwater and underground cables. A converter station here will feed electricity into the mainland grid.
"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," said Peter Leupp, head of ABB's Power Systems division. "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."
ABB's HVDC Light transmission technology offers environmental benefits such as neutral electromagnetic fields and compact converter stations. It is ideal for connecting remote offshore wind farms to mainland networks and overcoming distance limitations and grid constraints, while ensuring minimal electrical losses and efficient performance. The 320-kilovolt cable voltage capacity in this latest system is the highest level used for HVDC transmission with extruded cables.
Scheduled to be operational in 2015, this offshore network will help to avoid more than three million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by replacing fossil-fuel based generation. Germany's installed wind power capacity of over 27 gigawatts presently meets about eight percent of its electricity requirements. Plans are to double that by 2020. This is the third offshore wind connection order for ABB in Germany, following the 800 MW Dolwin1 link awarded last year and previously the BorWin1 project.
ABB provides a wide range of products, systems and services that enable the efficient generation and integration of renewable wind energy into the grid and its reliable transmission and distribution.