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Hitachi ABB commissioned by SSEN for Europe’s first multi-terminal HVDC connection

Hitachi ABB's HVDC converter system. Image: Hitachi ABB.

Hitachi ABB's HVDC converter system. Image: Hitachi ABB.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids is set to create Europe’s first multi-terminal high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) interconnection for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Transmission.

The connection will connect Shetland to the UK transmission system for the first time, helping to transport wind power from the islands to the mainland.

Wind power will be converted from Alternating Current to Direct Current by the HVDC system, and transmitted via underground and subsea cables between a converter station on Shetland to a switching station at Caithness, in the north of Scotland.

It will use the Caithness Moray HVDC link – which was installed by Hitachi ABB Power Grids and SSEN, and completed in January 2019 – before being converted back to Alternating Current for onward transmission as part of a three terminal DC-system.

The system will provide flexible power transfer, capable of delivering power in multiple directions based on supply and demand with minimal power losses according to Hitachi ABB.

Niklas Persson, managing director of the Grid Integration business at Hitachi ABB Power Grids, said the “innovative HVDC solution” will allow SSEN to both deliver clean power to consumers and enhance grid reliability.

“This project is another example of our new business model focused on our core technology, and reinforces our commitment to a sustainable energy future as the partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid”.

In 2017, SSEN hailed the success of Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES) project, which was designed to integrate renewables into Shetland’s local energy system over five years. The £18 million includes the use of large scale storage and network management, and saw the islands’ renewable generation triple.

Sandy Mactaggart, SSEN Transmission’s director of Offshore Delivery said the company was “delighted” to be working with Hitachi ABB Power Grids for the Shetland HVDC link, building on their strong track record following the construction and operation of the Caithness Moray link.

“The HVDC link will deliver substantial socio-economic and environmental benefits to Shetland’s, Scotland’s and the UK’s economy, supporting hundreds of skilled jobs in the process.”

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