ABB to upgrade transmission control for vital North American power interconnector

2008-04-14 - New control system will enhance grid reliability and extend link’s life span.

Zurich, Switzerland, April 14, 2008 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has been selected by Hydro-Québec, Canada, for an upgrade of a high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) converter station. The 25-year-old 1000-MW (Megawatts) Châteauguay back-to-back HVDC station will be equipped with ABB’s control and protection system, MACH 2.

"ABB’s well-proven HVDC control technology, MACH 2, will improve the performance and extend the life of the converter station," said Peter Leupp, head of ABB's Power Systems division. "Upgrading of HVDC plants is a good illustration of ABB’s long term commitment to the protection of investments in the transmission industry."

The MACH 2 system is the world’s most commonly used control system for HVDC and FACTS (flexible AC transmission systems) with over 400 systems in operation. It is used in all types of HVDC installations from small, but very demanding, HVDC Light installations, to large, 3,000-MW power links.

ABB has the widest experience of control system upgrades in the HVDC industry. Recent upgrade projects delivered by ABB include the Square Butte and the CU HVDC links in the U.S., the two Skagerrak HVDC links in Scandinavia and the on-going refurbishment of the Apollo converter station of the Cahora Bassa HVDC link in Southern Africa.

Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity, mainly using renewable energy sources. The company provides electricity to customers in Québec, other parts of Canada, as well as to northeastern parts of the U.S. and is one of the world’s largest producers of hydroelectricity.

The new control and protection system in Châteauguay will be commissioned during April and May in 2009, with an outage time of only seven weeks. Since the station comprises two blocks and each block will be renovated separately, the station will maintain at least half of its capacity during the installation period.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs more than 110,000 people

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