Transmission system operators Amprion (Germany) and Elia Group (Belgium) have officially commissioned the Aachen Liège Electricity Grid Overlay (ALEGrO) interconnector, the first power bridge between Germany and Belgium, using HVDC technology by Siemens Energy.
ALEGrO converter station in Lixhe in Belgium. Courtesy of Siemens Energy
ALEGrO is capable of carrying around 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power. The 90 kilometers long link provides urgently needed grid capacities for cross-border electricity flows including higher shares of renewable energy. On the same time, ALEGrO will strengthen the security of supply in the German Aachen-Cologne region.
Siemens Energy is currently developing 12 HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) projects worldwide with more than 55 completed projects. The technology is playing an increasingly important role in integrating renewable energy and thus in global decarbonisation.
“Thanks to the excellent collaboration between Elia, Amprion, Siemens Energy and all partners another landmark project on time and budget could come to fruition” said Beatrix Natter, Executive Vice President Transmission at Siemens Energy. “I am proud that our proven HVDC PLUS technology contributes to a greener, more reliable and powerful European electricity network.”
Dr. Hans-Jürgen Brick, CEO of Amprion GmbH, added that ALEGrO is a central electricity bridge in the heart of Europe, which couples the internal electricity market even more intensively and that at the same time, the project is a prime example of European cooperation and an important further building block for a secure European transmission network.
Siemens Energy supplied the two converter stations at each end of the line that convert the alternating current to direct current and vice versa. The stations have been erected in Oberzier in Germany and Lixhe in Belgium and are connected by an underground DC cable. Equipped with HVDC PLUS technology based on modular multilevel converters (MMC), the system offers a controlled power supply in either direction and is ideal as a ‘firewall’ against disturbances developing in highly loaded AC grids.