Siemens has received an order for a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) power transmission link in Canada. In a consortium with the construction company Mortenson Construction, Siemens will be supplying both converter stations for Manitoba Hydro's Bipole III HVDC project. Siemens is supplying the complete HVDC core technology, based on the well-proven thyristor-technology, while Mortensen Construction will be responsible for the construction of the converter stations.
This HVDC link of approximately 1,400 km will connect the Keewatinohk Converter Station, in northern Manitoba near Hudson Bay with the Riel Converter Station, close to the provincial capital Winnipeg in the south of the province, by a +/-500-kV overhead line. The order is valued at more than CAD 800 million for the consortium. Once it has been commissioned in the summer of 2018, the Bipole III HVDC link will have a transmission capacity of 2,300 MW.
This new HVDC link will enhance Manitoba Hydro’s existing HVDC system by increasing overall system reliability. This HVDC link will transport electricity generated by hydroelectric generating stations in the northern part of the province with low losses to southern load centers and Winnipeg.
“When it comes to energy-efficient and low-loss transmission of high ratings of electricity over considerable distances, we’re the right partner. Siemens is a leading provider of HVDC technology and with our partner who has the necessary local expertise in the construction we can offer systems tailored to our customers’ requirements”, says Karl Uecker, head of the business segments for HVDC and FACTS solutions within the Siemens Division Energy Management.
The scope of the contract includes the design, engineering, manufacturing, supply and commissioning of all HVDC core components, such as converter valves with direct light-triggered power thyristors, converter transformers, smoothing reactors, protection and I&C equipment, and AC and DC filters. A particular challenge posed by this project is the need to design the system with all its equipment for temperatures as low as -50°C. This new HVDC link will bolster the power supply grid in the province and ensure that the rising demand for energy is met by linking further environmentally-friendly hydro power plants to the power grid.
HVDC transmission is always the technology of choice when conventional methods of energy transport using alternating current reach their technical and economic limits. Compared to a similar three-phase line the transmission losses with an HVDC link are 30% to 40% less. The use of HVDC transmission always makes sense when electricity is produced at locations other than where it is needed and must therefore be transported over vast distances to urban and industrial centers.