T&D World Magazine

ABB wins $180 million order for undersea power link in Italy

ABB has won a $180 million order from Terna SpA, a leading energy company that operates the Italian transmission system. The infrastructure will deliver a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power system connecting the grids of Sardinia and peninsular Italy. The 1,000 MW HVDC undersea link will carry surplus power between the Italian mainland at Latina and the island of Sardinia. Italy is one of the world’s biggest importers of electrical power and the connection will be able to deliver electricity for one million homes.

“ABB’s cutting-edge HVDC technology creates a vital link to ensure the grids of Sardinia and the Italian mainland are supplied with reliable electrical power as needed,” said Samir Brikho, head of ABB's Power Systems division. “The system also contributes to the necessary upgrade of an expanded European transmission infrastructure by creating another interconnection to facilitate the exchange of electrical power.”

The contract calls for ABB to design and deliver two converter stations, one in Fiume Santo, Sardinia, and the other in Latina, on the Italian mainland – both in existing 400 kV substations. The stations include converter transformers as well as air-insulated and gas-insulated switchgear. ABB will produce the equipment at its factories in Sweden, Switzerland and Italy.

The distance between the two converter stations is 420 km. Power cables will be laid beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at depths of up to 1,600 m.

In addition to handling the power exchange, this sophisticated HVDC system can stabilize voltages and frequencies on Sardinia. It will be a bipolar HVDC system using two cables. The first pole will be completed in 2008.

This will be the third HVDC project delivered by ABB to Italy. The most recent interconnection between Italy and Greece was completed in 2001.

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