ABB Rededicates Sylmar Converter Station

Ceremony caps 118 MUSD modernization project

Sylmar, California, March 24, 2005 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology company, joined the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Southern California Edison and the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena at a rededication ceremony held here today at the Sylmar Converter Station. The ceremony recognized the completion of a $118 million modernization project carried out by ABB to upgrade the southern terminal of the Pacific DC Intertie, which was energized on December 23.

"The new Sylmar Converter Station will play a key role in preserving local reliability as well as reducing operation and maintenance costs,” says Ron Deaton, LADWP General Manager. “It will also ensure that customers on both ends of the intertie continue to benefit from the transmission of power south in the summer and north in the winter.”

Originally built in 1970, the Sylmar Converter Station was expanded into two facilities (Sylmar West and East) in the mid-1980s when the capacity of the Pacific DC Intertie was increased to 3100 MW. The station is operated by LADWP.

The modernization project replaced the station’s aging mercury arc valves with modern thyristors valves. Equipment was also consolidated into a single 500 KV converter at the Sylmar East facility that is capable of handling the full 3100 MW capacity of the transmission line. The project made use of existing buildings at Sylmar East, and reduced the overall footprint by more than half. ABB completed the project on budget and ahead of schedule.

“This project is an excellent example of what is possible with today’s HVDC technologies,” noted Anders Sjoelin, head of ABB’s Grid Systems business unit. “Greater capacity, lower O&M costs, enhanced reliability, and all with a much smaller environmental impact. We at ABB are very proud of our role in bringing the benefits of HVDC to Southern California and other growing areas around the world.”

ABB ( 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 about 102,000 people. The company's U.S. operations employ about 8,500 in manufacturing and other facilities in 32 states.

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