Shetland link supplier announced

5 August 2020

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has won the order from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission, part of the UK energy major SSE plc, to enable Europe’s first multi-terminal high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) interconnection. The link, which will connect Shetland to the UK transmission grid for the first time, will enhance security of power supply and help transmit to the mainland wind power generated on the islands, contributing to the UK’s decarbonisation target of bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

As part of the project, Hitachi ABB Power Grids will deliver and commission an HVDC system, facilitating a multi-terminal link, providing flexibility to transfer power in multiple directions, based on supply and demand, with minimal power losses. This will support power exchange and cost optimisation while lowering the carbon footprint. 

Wind power at an HVDC converter station will  be transmitted via  underground and subsea cables to an HVDC switching station at Caithness, in the north of Scotland. It will then be transferred via the Caithness Moray HVDC link (previously executed by Hitachi ABB Power Grids), before being converted back to AC for transmission via the national grid. 

The HVDC connection will play a key role in the development of Shetland’s renewable energy potential. Scheduled for completion in 2024, the system is enabled for future connections and integration of more renewables.



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