ABB completes HVDC system upgrade

WCN Editorial Team 9 Aug 2016 NORTH AMERICA ENERGY & UTILITIES

ABB has completed the upgrade and refurbishment of the three high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations on the power transmission link that delivers hydropower from Québec, Canada to New England, US.


The upgrade of the world’s first multi-terminal link was completed for utilities Hydro-Québec and National Grid. The 1,500km link originally entered service in the early 1990s, and has provided the highly populated areas of Montreal and Boston with hydropower.

With a total capacity of 2,000MW, the link can provide enough hydro-electricity for 3.8M people, based on average US household consumption.

A critical part of the project has been ensuring minimal power interference and enabling commercial operation to be restored swiftly. As part of this latest upgrade, ABB has replaced the link’s hardware and software with its state-of-the-art MACH control and protection system.

This ensures a continued, reliable and highly controllable power supply and enables advanced smart-grid studies for further grid optimisation in a timely manner, the company said.

Patrick Fragman, managing director of ABB’s Grid systems business, said: “We pioneered HVDC technology and continue to lead the way through innovation, as with the latest control system being installed for this project.

“The upgrade of the world’s first multi-terminal link reinforces ABB’s commitment to supporting customers through the lifecycle, and reiterates our focus on the service business, as part of our Next Level Strategy.”

* This is a version of an article originally published in Water Power & Dam Construction.

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