ABB ready to modernize U.S. power transmission system

ABB is offering its technical expertise and power technologies to utilities and authorities in the United States and Canada, following the massive power failure last week which affected more than 50 million people.

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These power failures should never have happened,” said Peter Smits, head of ABB’s Power Technologies division worldwide. "With our speed of manufacture, technical expertise and innovative technologies, ABB can help solve the transmission grid problems."

ABB has responded to the outages by directly addressing customers and other stakeholders in the U.S. John Sullivan, head of Power Technologies division in the U.S., has written to U.S. customers and regulators, enclosing an issues paper (attached).

Investigations into the causes of the blackouts may take several weeks. But local authorities and ABB experts are looking for the root cause of the outages and why the ‘domino’ effect of systems tripping other systems was so severe.

Cross Sound performed well

The recent emergency commissioning of the subsea HVDC Light (high-voltage direct current) Cross Sound cable in New York shows the value of ABB’s technology and fast delivery. The Long Island Power Authority said the link is a "national symbol of how we need to enhance our infrastructure."

The link demonstrated unprecedented performance under the recent severe conditions and is described as "the most stable point in the entire Long Island Electrical System." Voltage control is extremely efficient with this type of technology.

ABB technologies well positioned

Experts say changes to the North American grid will most likely involve high-end power technologies like DC-Systems - HVDC and HVDC Light - and FACTS, where ABB has advanced technologies and a strong local and international track record.

“The blackouts will trigger increased investments in power transmission in North America and other parts of the world,” says Smits. “With our clear leadership in power and automation technologies, we are in a good position to benefit from increased spending on the power grids of the region.”

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    The Statue of Liberty remains lit as the New York City skyline behind is plunged into darkness during North America's largest power outage ever on Thursday.

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