Five HVDC stations to drive renewable transmission from Scotland to the South

Five HVDC stations to drive renewable transmission from Scotland to the South
The HVDC converter station at Blackhillock, Scotland, one of the two stations in the Caithness Moray Link. Image credit: Hitachi Energy

Hitachi Energy has been selected by the UK’s SSEN Transmission as a preferred bidder for the supply of multiple onshore high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations to drive integration of bulk renewables into the UK power grid.

The agreement includes the deployment of up to five HVDC electricity transmission superhighways to enable renewable power to be transported from northern Scotland to areas of higher consumption in the south.

Each of these connection systems has a capacity of up to 2GW and a voltage level of 525kV.

Have you read?
TenneT awards contract for BorWin6 HVDC connector in the North Sea
Equinor and Hitachi Energy to develop high-tech HVDC/AC grid connectors

The links will help 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.

Hitachi Energy will supply its voltage source converter (VSC) converter stations, which convert AC to DC for efficient, long-distance transmission and DC to AC, where the electricity is returned to the grid.

Image courtesy Hitachi Energy

The first two projects under the framework agreement between Arnish-Beauly and Spittal-Peterhead have already been defined. The three additional projects are flexible in location, and to be defined as large-scale studies are finalised.

The HVDC links are expected to enter operation in 2030 and onwards.

“As we aim to conclude contract negotiations in the coming weeks and months, we look forward to building on our long-established and strong working relationship with Hitachi Energy,” said Rob McDonald, managing director of SSEN Transmission.

“We are also delighted that we have secured a place on our contractors’ framework for future HVDC projects, with significant further opportunities expected to come from ongoing system design work. Further details on these future projects and associated supply chain opportunities are expected later this year.”

Hitachi Energy is collaborating with SSE on several HVDC projects in the UK, such as the Caithness Moray and Shetland links and recently announced a similar agreement with TenneT to supply 12GW of offshore wind connections in The Netherlands and Germany.

Alongside the selection of Hitachi Energy, industrial holdings company NKT was confirmed as preferred bidder for the supply of power cable systems for two HVDC transmission links by SSEN Transmission.

They will provide 525kV XLPE HVDC power cable systems for Western Isles and Spittal-Peterhead offshore HVDC transmission links.

Originally published on Power Engineering International.