Hitachi Energy selected as preferred technology provider for the longest HVDC link in the UK

Global technology company Hitachi Energy has announced it has been selected as preferred technology provider of SSEN Transmission and National Grid, to supply two high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations to interconnect the Scottish and English power grids.
Hitachi Energy selected as preferred technology provider for the longest HVDC link in the UK
Blythe Converters Station. Courtesy of Hitachi Energy.

The energy transition requires a collaborative effort that can only be achieved with advanced technologies and new ways of working. In appointing Hitachi Energy as their preferred technology provider, SSEN Transmission and National Grid wanted to secure best-in-class technology and future production capacity in a rapidly growing market. For Hitachi Energy, this enables investment in new production capacity and to undertake large-scale recruitment drives. It also strengthens collaboration, standardisation of solutions, and synergies between projects.

The integration of renewables requires solutions that make the grid resilient, stable, and flexible. Hitachi Energy has long been involved in development of voltage sourced converter (VSC) power electronics and control and protection (MACH) technologies which meet the requirements alongside many other landmark grid integration projects.

Eastern Green Link 2 will consist of two 525-kilovolt (kV) bipole VSC converter stations connected by 440 kilometres of subsea cable and 70 kilometres of underground cable, making it the longest HVDC link in the UK. The link will efficiently supply a total of 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which is enough to power around two million UK homes.

The link will help to secure power transmission in the northern UK and support the integration of new renewable electricity generation in Scotland, as part of the UK’s Net Zero Strategy. As much as 11,000 MW of offshore wind capacity is possible in Scottish waters by 2030, and HVDC transmission will play a large part in bringing this vast amount of renewable power to shore and south, to communities across the country.

“The UK’s Net Zero Strategy has ambitious targets which will require vast amounts of new renewable generation” said Niklas Persson, Managing Director at Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “Electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system. Our pioneering HVDC technology will ensure that this electricity will reliably and efficiently get where it’s needed most.”

Hitachi Energy is collaborating with BAM, a construction company that designs, builds, and maintains sustainable buildings and infrastructure, to provide the civil and installation scope for the project. The collaboration with BAM will leverage the core competencies of the two companies to deliver a best-in-class solution for the project.

“The converter stations at either end of the cable will play a crucial role in making the power transported subsea suitable for transportation around the onshore transmission network - getting Hitachi Energy and BAM in place to deliver that technology is great for the project” added Ricky Saez, the EGL2 Project Director from SSEN Transmission.

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