ABB, Zurich, Switzerland, won a blockbuster order to provide cable and conversion stations for an offshore wind farm in the North Sea. The approximately $1 billion order from the Dutch-German transmission grid operator TenneT contracts ABB to supply a power link connecting offshore wind farms to the German mainland grid.
In the deal, which is the largest power transmission order in ABB’s history, ABB will deploy the world’s largest offshore high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system with a rating of over 900MW, while keeping electrical losses to less than one percent per converter station. The completed link will be capable of supplying more than 1.5 million households with wind-generated electricity.
ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the offshore platform, the offshore and onshore converter stations and the land and sea cable systems. ABB’s HVDC Light transmission technology will transport power from the 400 MW Gode Wind II and other wind farms to an offshore HVDC converter station, which will transmit the electricity to the onshore HVDC station at Dörpen on the German coast via 135 kilometers of underwater and underground cables. A converter station at Dörpen will feed electricity into the mainland grid.
“Offshore wind power is emerging as a major source of large-scale renewable energy in Europe to help meet emission targets and lower environmental impact,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “ABB is uniquely positioned with in-house manufacturing capability of converter stations, cables and semiconductors, the essential components of HVDC systems, and has invested significantly in these technologies.”
Features of ABB’s HVDC Light transmission technology include a neutral electromagnetic fields and compact converter stations. The 320kV cable voltage capacity in this latest system is the highest level used for HVDC transmission with extruded cables.
The project is scheduled to be operational in 2015. This is the third offshore wind connection order for ABB in Germany, following the 800 MW Dolwin1 link awarded last year and previously the BorWin1 project. Germany’s installed wind power capacity of over 27 gigawatts meets about eight percent of its electricity requirements. The nation plans to double that by 2020.