Shoreham HVDC Light station in the 330 MW Cross Sound Cable link in the USA

HVDC Light

"HVDC Light is the most interesting power transmission system developed for several decades"

HVDC Light® is a state-of-the-art power system designed to transmit power underground and under water, also over long distances. It offers numerous environmental benefits, including “invisible” power lines, neutral electromagnetic fields, oil-free cables and compact converter stations.

HVDC Light® increases the reliability of power grids, and the technology extends the economical power range of HVDC transmission down to just a few tens of Megawatts (MW). In the upper range, the technology now reaches 1,200 MW and ±500 kV.

It is quick to install and provides an alternative to conventional AC transmission systems and local generation. Possible applications include:

  • Connecting wind farms to power grids
  • Underground power links
  • Providing shore power supplies to islands and offshore oil & gas platforms
  • Connecting asynchronous grids
  • City center infeed

Utilities are under extreme pressure to meet consumer and regulatory demands for a high quality, competitively priced power supply that has low environmental impact. The expansion of AC transmission capacity is often limited by local planning regulations and the concerns of local residents who object to the installation of new overhead lines.

It is now economically feasible to expand transmission capacity using underground HVDC cables. This approach not only minimizes environmental impact, it also improves the quality of the power supply.
HVDC Light® was introduced in 1997. A number of underground and sumarine transmissions up to 400 MW are in commercial operation and more are being built. The first commercial project delivery - Gotland HVDC Light - turned 10 years in November 2009 - read more about it here.

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