The HVDC converter stations are an integral part of the Manitoba Hydro Bipole III transmission project which will boost the reliability of Manitoba’s electricity supply by reducing dependence on existing HVDC transmission lines while also ensuring low-loss transport of renewable hydro power from northern generating stations to meet growing energy requirements.
HVDC converter stations are specialised substations that support the conversion of electric power from high-voltage alternating-current (HVAC) to high-voltage direct-current (HVDC), or vice versa, a critical component to interconnecting separate power systems.
The Bipole III converter stations include the Keewatinohk Converter Station in northern Manitoba near Hudson Bay, and the Riel Converter Station near Winnipeg in the southern region of the province. The converter stations have a transmission capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW) - enough to meet over 40 percent of the province's peak electricity demand. HVDC transmission is the ideal technology for the transportation of electricity over vast distances from remote areas where it is produced to urban and industrial centres where it is needed, as HVDC transmission suffers much lower electricity losses than standard AC transmission.
“Our proven HVDC technology will enable Manitoba Hydro to integrate and deliver clean renewable energy while enhancing grid reliability and enabling power sharing” said Mirko Düsel, CEO Transmission Solutions at Siemens Energy Management. “After commissioning, Bipole III will deliver renewable energy to southern Manitoba and the United States, helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.”
Faisal Kazi, President and CEO, Siemens Canada, added that with the combination of expertise and joint effort within the two organisations and Manitoba Hydro, this critical and challenging project was able to be completed on time and on budget.
The Siemens and Mortenson consortium was responsible for the turnkey supply of the HVDC converter equipment and associated facilities, with Siemens delivering the system design, manufacturing, supply and commissioning of the core HVDC technology and Mortenson providing design support and construction services for the supporting infrastructure, including converter stations, AC filters and DC switchyards.
Siemens is a global leader in HVDC technology, having commissioned more than 50 HVDC systems worldwide since the 1960s and conducting continuous research into the further development of the technology. In 2010, Siemens implemented the first project in the world using multilevel technology featuring additional closed-loop and open-loop control functions of the kind familiar from powerplants.
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