Siemens to connect England and Scotland with high-efficiency submarine power link

Order value for consortium more than 1.1 billion euros for HVDC technology

(PresseBox) ( Erlangen, Germany, )
In a consortium with the Italian cable company Prysmian, Siemens Energy is to build a submarine DC interconnector in the Irish Sea. The order is worth more than 1.1 billion euros for the consortium. Customers are the British grid operator National Grid Electricity Transmission and its Scottish counterpart Scottish Power Transmission. The grid connection between Scotland and England is designed as a low-loss high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission system and will be built by late 2015. It will be the first submarine interconnector ever using a DC voltage level of 600 kilovolts (kV). Raising the voltage level in the cable by 20 percent versus the highest voltage rating used to date also enhances its transmission capacity by one-fifth. Thus, higher power transmission capacity is possible with the same diameter of copper in the cable which reduces the cost of material used. Furthermore, the transmission losses in the cable are reduced by one-third. The total power loss in the planned link will be less than 3 percent. The Western HVDC Link project will provide much needed additional power transmission capacity on Britain's transmission system as the UK heads toward a low carbon economy. The new link will support the planned expansion of renewables. Renewabless-based power is generated, for example, in the form of offshore wind power at remote sites far away from loads and the amount of electricity produced is dependent on weather conditions. It will therefore become more difficult to balance power generation and consumption within the grid.

"This order underscores our technological leadership in the HVDC field ," says Udo Niehage, CEO of the Power Transmission Division of Siemens Energy. "We will build the first submarine power link ever using a level of 600 kilovolts. Furthermore, it will be the first subsea interconnector with a transmission capacity of 2200 megawatts - this equals the power output of two large-scale power plants", adds Niehage.

The order comprises cable installation along the 420-km-long route and construction of the HVDC converters stations in Hunterston, Scotland and the Wirral area in North West England. The link can transmit energy in both directions, north and south.

Energy-efficient grid HVDC transmission technology is part of Siemens' Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2011, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about EUR30 billion, making Siemens one of the world's largest suppliers of ecofriendly technologies. In the same period, our products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 320 million tons, an amount equal to the total annual CO2 emissions of Berlin, Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.
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