Major milestone reached for pioneering green grid project
A major renewable energy infrastructure project is to bring wind power from Shetland to the UK mainland via Europe's first multi-terminal high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) interconnection, the firms behind the development announced yesterday.
Hitachi ABB Power and Grids is to build an HVDC converter station on Shetland and an HVDC switching station in Caithness on the Scottish mainland, connected via subsea power cables.
The link will transmit wind power generated by energy giant SSE on the islands to the UK mainland, where it will help meet electricity demand in the north of Scotland and beyond, the firms said.
The announcement follows Ofgem's approval last month of the £600m subsea cable link. Capable of transmitting 600MW, the Shetland HVDC Connection is expected to be operational in 2024.
The switching stations will convert harnessed wind power from Alternating Current to Direct Current for the long distance transmission cables and then back again, leading to lower power losses and so reduced costs and a smaller carbon footprint.
"This innovative HVDC solution will enable SSEN Transmission to efficiently connect and transport renewable energy and deliver clean power to consumers while enhancing grid reliability." said Niklas Persson, managing director of the grid integration business at Hitachi ABB Power Grids.
"We are delighted to be working again with Hitachi ABB Power Grids for the Shetland HVDC link, building on the experience and strong track record we have established following the construction and operation of the Caithness Moray link," said Sandy Mactaggart, SSEN Transmission's director of offshore delivery. "The HVDC link will deliver substantial socio-economic and environmental benefits to Shetland's, Scotland's and the UK's economy, supporting hundreds of skilled jobs in the process."
SSE plans to build the UK's largest onshore windfarm on Shetland. The 103-turbine Viking 443MW project is set to cost £580m, the firm has said, delivering major new investment in the region while further cementing Scotland's reputation as a renewable energy hub.
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