ABB, the power and automation technology group, has won an order worth about $20 million from Vermont Electrical Power Company (VELCO) to refurbish a more than 25-year old HVDC (high-voltage direct current) transmission station. The original station was delivered by ABB in 1985.The order was booked in the first quarter.
ABB will modernize the Highgate back-to-back converter station, which links the electrical systems of the state of Vermont in the US and the province of Quebec in Canada. A contract to import hydropower to Vermont from Quebec has recently been extended for another 25 years.
The project’s scope includes the installation of ABB’s state-of-the-art control and protection system MACH2, and replacement of the valves and valve cooling system. The planned outage time for the link is only 21 days – an important factor that will minimize the impact of the station being out of service. The upgraded station is expected to be in operation by the end of 2012.
“The upgrade of the HVDC station will bring greater transmission efficiency, improve stability and provide greater security of power supply,” said Martin Gross, head of ABB’s Grid Systems business, a part of the Power Systems division. “It will also facilitate the transfer of clean hydropower from Canada.”
The MACH2 system is the world's most popular control system for HVDC and FACTS with over 700 systems in operation. It is extensively used across a range of installations from highly demanding HVDC Light installations, to large HVDC power links with power ratings of over 6,400 megawatts (MW).
ABB pioneered HVDC transmission technology more than 50 years ago and has extensive experience in both new installations and refurbishments. ABB remains the world leader in this highly-efficient technology, with over 70 HVDC projects around the world, providing a total transmission capacity of more than 60,000 MW. This is the 15th upgrade project won by ABB since 1990.