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T&D World Magazine

Siemens HVDC Converter Stations to Link Netherlands and the UK

Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution (PTD) and Dutch consortium partner BAM Civiel have been contracted by Britain’s National Grid and Dutch grid operator TenneT to supply the converter stations for the BritNed interconnector project. The 260 km long HVDC submarine cable link between the Isle of Grain in Kent, southeast England, and Maasvlakte near Rotterdam will allow power transmission of 1000 MW at a DC transmission voltage of 450 kV. The total value of the order to the consortium is about EUR 220 million. Commissioning is scheduled for late 2010.

The high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link between the UK and the Netherlands is being constructed to improve reliability of the power grids in both countries and enable greater competition in the network. In addition, the HVDC link meets European Commission demands for greater interconnection of the grids. Power will soon flow in both directions with minimal losses and at low cost, and its price will be set by the power markets in both countries.

As consortium leader, Siemens is responsible for equipping the complete HVDC system and will be supplying both converter stations with key parts including converter valves, converter transformers, smoothing reactors, protection and control equipment and both AC and DC filters. BAM Civiel is responsible for all earthwork and construction.

National Grid also ordered the HVDC transmission route Basslink, which was built by Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution (PTD) and, after a successful trial period, handed over to the British utility last year. Currently the longest submarine power cable in the world, Basslink has been in service since late April 2006, enabling the low-loss exchange of electricity between mainland Australia and Tasmania.

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