ABB has won an order worth about $450 million to link the power grids of the United Kingdom and Norway, increasing security of power supply for both countries and supporting the integration of more renewable wind and hydroelectric power into their networks.
The order was placed by Statnett, the state-owned network operator in Norway, and National Grid, an international electricity and gas utility from the UK, and was booked in the third quarter of 2015.
ABB will supply high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations at both ends of the North Sea Network (NSN) Link between Norway and the UK. This is the latest example of how ABB is facilitating critical transmission links to create additional transmission capacity for trading of electricity to enhance energy security and boost renewables. ABB was recently also awarded the NordLink project, a 1,400 megawatt (MW) interconnection rated at ±525 kilovolt (kV) to connect Norway and Germany.
The NSN link will have the capacity to transmit 1,400 MW of power passing through Norwegian and British waters. The 730 kilometer link will be the world’s longest subsea power interconnection, expected to enter commercial operation in 2021.
When wind power generation is high and electricity demand low in the UK, power will flow via the link to Norway, allowing it to conserve water in its reservoirs. When demand is high in the UK but the wind isn’t blowing, electricity from Norway’s hydroelectric plants will flow to the UK.
As part of the order, ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission two ±525 kV, 1,400 MW converter stations, using its Voltage Source Converter (VSC) technology, called HVDC Light®. One station will be situated in Blyth, UK and one in Kvilldal, Norway.