ABB power giant wins £500 million electricity transmission contract from Scottish Hydro

Electricity grid infrastructureAs exclusively first revealed last month by Scottish Energy News, ABB yesterday officially confirmed that it has won a £500 million contract from Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHET) to provide the Caithness-Moray high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission link.

This will connect the electricity grid on either side of the Moray Firth in northern Scotland. ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission two 320 kilovolt land-based HVDC Light converter stations, one rated at 1,200 megawatts (MW) at Blackhillock in Moray and another rated at 800 MW situated at Spittal in Caithness. 

SHETransmission is undertaking a major strengthening of its power network serving the north of Scotland to accommodate the rapid growth in generation of electricity from renewable sources, with around 1,200 MW of wind, wave and tidal energy planned to be connected. With associated reinforcement of the existing onshore network, this project represents the largest investment in northern Scotland’s electricity network since the first Scottish hydro development era in the 1950s.

ABB will also provide submarine and underground cables covering a total transmission length of nearly 160 kilometers. The link is scheduled to become operational in 2018.

Claudio Facchin, head of ABB Power Systems Division, said: “We are pleased to support this major transmission project that will enable integration of a significant amount of renewable energy into the grid and supply clean, emission-free electricity to millions of people in Scotland and the UK”.

A key enabler for this is the installation of a subsea HVDC cable, capable of carrying up to 1,200 MW of electricity between Caithness and Moray, equivalent to the electricity needs of about two million householders in Scotland. ABB’s HVDC Light solution leads the way in VSC (Voltage Source Converter) technology.

The company has delivered 13 of the 14 commissioned VSC links in the world. HVDC Light continues to be a preferred solution for long-distance underground and underwater power transmission links.

See the Scottish Energy News exclusive report from last month:


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