ABB to upgrade Sweden-Germany HVDC power transmission link

10 August 2017

ABB has won an order from Baltic Cable AB, a subsidiary of Norway based Statkraft, one of Europe's leading renewable energy generators to upgrade the Baltic Cable high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link. This link runs beneath the Baltic Sea and interconnects the electricity grids of Germany and Sweden. As part of the modernization project, ABB will upgrade the control and protection system of the link, with its latest ABB Ability MACH technology.

The 250 kilometer long, subsea transmission link, has a capacity of 600 megawatts and a voltage of 450 kilovolts (kV) – the highest operating voltage in Germany. Built in 1994 to enhance the efficiency of power utilization, the link takes advantage of the differing patterns of power generation and consumption in Sweden and Germany, pooling energy resources and facilitating the exchange of electricity.

The upgraded MACH control system acts like the brain of the HVDC link by monitoring, controlling and protecting the sophisticated technology in the converter stations. It incorporates advanced fault registration and remote control functions. ABB will also replace other aging equipment to boost efficiency and reliability.

“The modernization of the Baltic Cable HVDC interconnection will not only enhance performance and reliability but also extend the lifespan of this important link”, said Patrick Fragman, head of ABB’s Grid Integration business, a part of the company’s Power Grids division. “This project reiterates our strategic focus on service and digital technologies. It also reinforces our market and technology-leading position in HVDC as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

ABB pioneered HVDC technology more than 60 years ago and is a global leader with over 110 HVDC projects, representing a total installed capacity of more than 120,000 megawatts - around half the world’s installed base. ABB also leads the industry in major HVDC upgrades, having executed projects around the world with minimized interruption to the power flow.