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ABB successfully tests new Canadian HVDC power interconnector

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Technology company ABB has successfully tested a new HVDC power link that will enable the exchange of clean power from Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia and the North American grid.
ABB successfully tests new Canadian HVDC power interconnector
Courtesy of ABB

HVDC Light Maritime Link enables Emera to exchange electricity between the Island of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia for the first time in history. It consists of a 500 MW high voltage direct current connection that will enable renewable energy, generated in Newfoundland and Labrador to be transmitted to the North American grid in Nova Scotia. ABB’s latest HVDC Light solution has been incorporated into the link in order to allow Nova Scotia to integrate additional renewables and contribute to Canada’s emission-reduction efforts.

The Maritime Link is the first of its kind in the world with a full Voltage Source Converter bipolar configuration, to enhance system availability. ABB will equip the converter stations with its ABB Ability based advanced MACH control and protection system. This functions as the ‘brain’ of the HVDC link, monitoring, controlling and protecting the technology in the stations and managing thousands of operations to ensure power reliability. Its advanced fault registration and remote-control functions also help protect the link from unexpected disruptions, such as lightning strikes. 

“Our innovative HVDC Light technology will enable the historical Maritime project to integrate and deliver clean renewable energy while enhancing grid stability and enabling power sharing,” said Patrick Fragman, head of ABB’s Grid Integration business, a part of the company’s Power Grids division.  

In addition to the two converter stations for the ±200 kV HVDC link, the project scope also includes two 230 kV alternating current substations in Newfoundland, one 345 kV AC substation in Nova Scotia and two cable transition stations.

HVDC Light is a preferred solution for long-distance underground and underwater power links and inter-connections like the Maritime Link Project. The technology is increasingly being deployed across a range of applications. These include integration of renewable energies from land-based and offshore wind farms, mainland power supply to islands and offshore oil and gas platforms, city centre in-feeds where space is a major constraint and cross-border interconnections that often connect across the seas. Its ability to meet grid code compliance ensures robust network connections regardless of application. The latest generation of this technology can transmit power at ±640 kilovolts (kV) over 2,000 kilometres and deliver up to 3,000 MW of electricity – enough to power several million households.

Image: Bottom Brook converter station, Newfoundland

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