ABB awarded HVDC orders

Hydro-Québec, the eastern Canadian utility company, and National Grid, the New England utility company, have awarded ABB, a power and automation technology group, orders to renovate three high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations.
The orders, reportedly worth a combined $75 million, will replace the 20-year-old control and protection systems in the multi-terminal HVDC link, which was the first of its kind between Québec and New England in the early 1990s. The link has a total transfer capacity of 2,000 megawatts of power and covers a distance of 1,500 kilometers from the La Grande II Hydroelectric generating complex near James Bay in eastern Canada to Sandy Pond near Boston, Massachusetts in the US.
ABB will be responsible for putting in the newest modular advanced control systems (MACH) currently on the market for HVDC equipment.
The MACH system is the world’s most extensively deployed control solution for HVDC and Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS) installations, with over 1,100 systems currently operating throughout the world. The replacement is due to be completed by 2016.
“The upgrade of the converter stations will enhance the efficiency and reliability of this important HVDC link,” said Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “It will also help to improve security of power supply in the region.”
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