Ireland/UK HVDC Subsea Cable Link Commissioned by ABB
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Map courtesy of ABB

ABB commissions world's highest capacity HVDC Light underwater power link, a 500 MW HVDC inter-connection between Ireland and the UK enables leveraging of wind energy and facilitates power flows between the two countries.

ABB has delivered the East West Interconnector to EirGrid, the Irish transmission system operator. The 500-megawatt (MW) transmission connection is the highest capacity link of its kind, based on voltage source converter (VSC) technology, to go into commercial operation.

The interconnector establishes an important link between the Irish and U.K. grids, enabling cross-border power flows and enhancing grid reliability and security of electricity supplies. The new link also facilitates power trading between the two countries and connects Ireland to the European grid. As Ireland expands its wind power capacity, it can export surplus electricity to the UK, and can import power when required.

A 262 km cable system connects Woodland in County Meath, Ireland and Deeside in north Wales. The cables are equipped with extruded polymeric insulation that provides strength and flexibility to endure the severe conditions of the Irish Sea. HVDC Light’s ‘black start’ capability can help restore power quickly in the event of an outage, without the aid of external energy sources.

“This is yet another example of the growing role of HVDC transmission technology when enabling key emerging trends like integration of renewables and interconnections” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems business. “ABB remains a market leader in this field and we shall continue to push the boundaries of HVDC technology, building on our past legacy.”

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