ABB has won an order worth about $450 million to link the power grids of the United Kingdom and Norway, increasing security of power supply for both countries and supporting the integration of more renewable wind and hydroelectric power into their networks. The order was placed by Statnett, the state-owned network operator in Norway, and National Grid, an international electricity and gas utility from the UK, and was booked in the third quarter of 2015.
The NSN link will have the capacity to transmit 1,400 MW of power passing through Norwegian and British waters. The 730 kilometer link will be the world’s longest subsea power interconnection, expected to enter commercial operation in 2021. When wind power generation is high and electricity demand low in the UK, power will flow via the link to Norway, allowing it to conserve water in its reservoirs. When demand is high in the UK but the wind isn’t blowing, electricity from Norway’s hydroelectric plants will flow to the UK.
As part of the order, ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission two ±525 kV, 1,400 MW converter stations, using its Voltage Source Converter (VSC) technology, called HVDC Light®. One station will be situated in Blyth, UK and one in Kvilldal, Norway.
ABB was recently also awarded the NordLink project, a 1,400 MW interconnection rated at ±525 kV to connect Norway and Germany. ABB has been awarded around 100 HVDC projects since it pioneered HVDC technology more than 60 years ago, representing a total installed capacity of more than 120,000 MW and accounting for about half the global installed base. ABB introduced voltage source converter (VSC) HVDC Light® technology in the 1990s and is a global leader in this field, having delivered 15 of the 21 VSC projects presently in commercial operation around the world. The NSN link is the fifth significant HVDC Light order awarded to ABB during the last year.