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ABB wins one of its biggest ever contracts to connect world’s largest offshore wind farm to UK grid

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Contributor: ABB Drives

  • First ever UK use of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology with smaller environmental footprint for connecting offshore wind farms
  • Dogger Bank offshore wind farms to power 4.5 million homes
  • Increasing current wind offshore capacity by 3.6 GW, equivalent to 5% of the UK’s total estimated electricity generation

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 optimization of offshore wind connections.

“Winning the contracts from SSE Renewables and Equinor for the landmark Dogger Bank project 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,” said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids business. “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.”

Paul Cooley, Director of Capital Projects at SSE Renewables, 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 appointment of Aibel and ABB as project partners will ensure that the latest grid solution technology is deployed to support our successful project delivery.”

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Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor, said: “This is an important milestone for Dogger Bank with a groundbreaking HVDC technology solution enabling a competitive solution for offshore wind at a long distance from shore. This will be the first offshore HVDC solution in the UK which opens up new markets and opportunities. The appointment of Aibel and ABB demonstrates cross industry collaboration bringing best expertise into a successful Dogger Bank delivery.”

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.

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.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com

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