ABB awarded $60 million HVDC order to support grid reliability in Texas

Replacement of a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station to enable efficient power exchange, improve grid reliability and facilitate power flow control

Zurich, Switzerland, Aug 28, 2012 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has been awarded an order worth around $60 million by American Electric Power (AEP) to replace a 30-year-old HVDC back-to-back converter station in Texas. The order was booked in the second quarter.

The project scope includes engineering, supply, installation and commissioning of an HVDC back-to-back transmission system capable of delivering 220 megawatts (MW) of power in either direction. The new system will have black-start capability, which enables fast grid restoration in the event of a power outage, allowing power to be used from the other end of the link. This is an important feature as the converter station is an integral part of the Oklaunion HVDC transmission link - an asynchronous interconnection between the Texas (ERCOT) and Oklahoma (SPP) power grids.

“In addition to enhancing grid reliability and power stability, our HVDC solution will enable the efficient transmission of electricity across this important interconnection,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB's Power Systems division. “Besides leading edge technologies, ABB will bring significant domain expertise and global application experience to the project.”

Other key components to be supplied as part of the turnkey solution include converter valves and ABB’s MACH2 advanced control and protection system, which will help meet stringent system performance requirements.

The existing converter station will remain in operation during the construction of the new station to minimize the impact of replacing the system. The new station is expected to be operational in 2014.

ABB pioneered HVDC transmission technology almost 60 years ago and has built a vast global installed base, having completed more than 70 HVDC projects around the world, with a total transmission capacity of over 60,000 MW.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs more than 145,000 people.

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    Media contact
    • Harmeet Bawa
      Head of Communications
      ABB Power Products and Power Systems
      Tel: +41 43 317 6480
      Fax: +41 43 317 6482
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