ABB wins contract to connect world’s largest offshore wind farm to UK grid

offshore wind, ABB

ABB has been selected by energy companies SSE Renewables of the UK and Equinor of Norway to supply its high-voltage direct current (HVDC) Light converter systems to connect the world’s largest offshore wind farms in the Dogger Bank region of the North Sea to the UK transmission network.

In the first ever use of the HVDC technology in the UK’s offshore wind market, ABB will supply technology with one of the smallest environmental footprints, due to the most compact station design combined with the lowest energy losses in the power industry.

ABB will supply the HVDC Light converter systems, while Aibel will deliver two HVDC offshore converter platforms. In 2016, ABB and Aibel announced their partnership on the design, engineering and optimisation of offshore wind connections.

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President of ABB’s Power Grids business Claudio Facchin said winning the contract underscores ABB’s innovative offshore wind technology and expertise.

“It also highlights the success of ABB Power Grids’ customer partnerships, both on design optimization as well as on the business model level,” he said.

“ABB is committed to delivering sustainable solutions with pioneering technologies and in the Dogger Bank project we are helping to make offshore wind competitive and thus contributing to a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

Director of Capital Projects at SSE Renewables Paul Cooley said Dogger Bank is truly a world-leading project, pushing new boundaries in the provision of ground-breaking technology to deliver low-carbon energy generation to help achieve the UK’s net zero ambition by 2050.

The Dogger Bank development consists of three wind farm projects – Creyke Beck A and B, and Teesside A. It will significantly contribute towards the UK government’s goals of sourcing up to a third of its electricity from offshore wind by 2030. ABB has been awarded contracts for Creyke Beck A and Creyke Beck B.

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According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global offshore wind capacity may increase 15-fold and attract around $1 trillion of cumulative investment by 2040. This is driven by increased competitiveness, supportive government policies and some remarkable technological progress.

Commercial HVDC technology was pioneered by ABB more than 60 years ago. It is a highly efficient alternative to alternating current (AC) for transmitting large amounts of electricity with higher efficiency and lower electrical losses.

HVDC contributes to the secure and stable transmission of power across networks that operate on different voltages and frequencies. This makes the technology suitable for many key power applications, enabling the integration of renewable energy from offshore wind farms and interconnections with AC networks.