GE has signed a $320 million contract with KEPCO to build an HVDC ‘Energy Highway’ to power South Korea’s capital, Seoul.
South Korea has experienced a near-35% increase in energy demand in the last decade and the new system will be key to increasing the stability and reliability of the Korean electrical transmission grid as more solar and wind power capacity is added over the next decade.
The new project will deliver a 4 GW HVDC transmission link, including a 500 kV HVDC bipole with two converter stations, including valves, cooling system, converter transformers, filters, switchyard and a control system. The new HVDC system will reinforce the South Korean electrical network by adding new routes for the supply of power. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
GE Power won the contract through its joint venture, KAPES. It will provide equipment and expertise to deliver the HVDC transmission link from a power complex located in the east of South Korea, to Seoul’s metropolitan area. The latter represents around 40% of Korean energy demand.
GE Power has successfully delivered three HVDC reference projects in Korea. It provided the original 300 MW HVDC bipole link for the point-to-point submarine interconnection linking South Korea’s Jeju Island across 101 km with the mainland in the late 1990s. In 2014, through its KAPES joint venture, GE was awarded the 1.5 GW Buk-Dangjin–Godeok HVDC connection to transmit energy from the Dangjin power plant west of South Korea, to the densely populated area of Pyeongtaek (Godeok) and Seoul Metropolitan, about 35km east of Dangjin. The project is currently in progress and will be completed end of 2019.
The KAPES joint venture between GE and KEPCO is a long term strategic relationship to co-develop HVDC projects and increase Korean transmission grid capabilities based on GE technology.