ABB has won an order worth approx. €270 million from the UK grid operator National Grid and Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE), the French network owner and operator, to provide key HVDC (high-voltage direct current) technology that will help interconnect the electricity networks of France and the UK.
ABB will participate in the interconnection project, which further integrates the UK and French electricity markets.
With a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, the link will run from Chilling, Hampshire, on the southern coast of England to Tourbe in northern France, covering a distance of 240 kilometers across the English Channel.
ABB will provide the two high-voltage direct current HVDC Light® converter stations, to be located in France and England, which will be linked with a subsea cable.
Each station converts alternating current into direct current, and then back again before distribution. This enables the efficient and reliable transmission of large amounts of electricity over long distances, with minimum losses – the key advantage of HVDC technology.
ABB’s HVDC Light technology also incorporates advanced features such as regulating grid fluctuations and power restoration in the event of an outage. These features provide economic benefits for the network operator and reliable electricity supply to the end users.
The converter stations will be equipped with ABB’s advanced MACH control and protection system, supporting the company’s ABB Ability based digital offering.
MACH acts like the brain of the HVDC link – monitoring, controlling and protecting the sophisticated technology in the stations, managing thousands of operations to ensure the reliability of power supplies. Incorporating advanced fault registration and remote control functions, it also helps protect the link from unexpected disruptions, such as lightning strikes.